KC Royals Defeat Chicago White Sox 7-6 in Extras


128. 7. 7. Final. 6

On a wet Saturday afternoon in beautiful Chicago (a jewel of a city), the KC Royals and White Sox battled for 13 innings over nearly five hours at Comiskey Park (or whatever soulless corporate entity the Southsiders sold their stadium naming rights to). It was a back-and-forth contest where each team took turns scoring, with the Royals repeatedly going ahead only to see the Sox come back to tie. A total of 14 pitchers gave up 31 hits and 10 walks on the day – not exactly a clinic for the kids.

Jeremy Guthrie (7-5 / 5.36 ERA) started for the Royals. Opponents are batting .305 for the season against Jeremy, and he gives up 1.52 base-runners per inning – both put him among the absolute worst in the league. In this game he gave up nine hits, a walk, and three runs in five innings of work – a typical Guthrie outing. When considering ways to improve the rotation for what will hopefully be a thrilling stretch run, Guthrie must surely be a candidate for demotion. Though as a friend of mine is quick to point out, Guthrie does have a knack for wiggling out of trouble, and he delivered down the stretch for us last year and in the post-season.

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Royals batters had seveneen hits, six walks and seven runs enroute to glorious victory. Lorenzo Cain led the way with a 3-5 day that included a double and two walks in addition to the game winning homer in the 13th that smashed the opposition’s hopes and dreams to smithereens.

Everyone got into the act: Alcides Escobar was 3-5. Eric Hosmer was 2-5. Kendrys Morales was 2-5 with an RBI. Alex Rios was 2-4. Paulo Orlando was 2-5 with a big go-ahead RBI double and a key walk. And Mike Moustakas was 1-6 with a double and go-ahead sac fly for two RBI, in addition to a fine defensive play to end the game. Sal Perez drove in a run. The entire line-up contributed (Jarrod Dyson walked, stole a base, and scored a run after subbing for Rios in the 8th).

The Royals normally air-tight bullpen coughed up the lead twice. A rarity, thankfully.

Fireballer Kelvin Herrera gave up a wall-scraper home run to SS Alexei Ramirez to tie the score at 4-4 in the 7th. It was a catchable ball, although it would have taken a dazzling play. The kind that Cain, Alex Gordon, and Dyson make on occasion. Rios doesn’t make many of those any more. And he’s beginning to whiff on a few plays with significantly less degree of difficulty. He’s a liability in the field, but his bat is beginning to come around. I think we should see more of Dyson and Orlando in right, especially in late innings, just as we saw with Nori Aoki last season.

And Greg Holland blew a two-run lead in the ninth when J.B. Shuck doubled in two to tie at six runs apiece.

But Luke Hochevar, Brandon Finnegan, and Ryan Madson clamped down on the Sox for four scoreless innings to secure the win in the end.

This team seems to relish bailing out their stellar bullpen on the infrequent occasions where they give up leads. It’s an admirable trait that brings me great joy.

Tune in Sunday at 1:10 PM  as KC goes for the series victory.

Next: Kris Medlen to Begin in Bullpen