Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
After losing the first six times they played at Kansas City’s beautiful Kauffman Stadium in 2015, the Chicago White Sox secured their second straight victory over the hometown Royals on Saturday night.
Danny Duffy started for the Royals and pitched decent. He gave up four runs — all coming off homers by Geovany Soto and Alexei Ramirez — on seven hits and two walks over seven innings. He also struck out seven, and kept his team within striking distance.
But alas, Royals hitters were snakebit on the night, despite making pretty solid contact off Sox starter Jose Quintana. They smacked five doubles among a total of ten hits on the night, but could manage just two knocks — one a 60-foot single by Alex Gordon — with fourteen runners in scoring position all night. They also failed to draw a walk (Ben Zobrist had the night off).
The Royals put the match in doubt when they tried to rally from a 4-0 deficit in the eighth, but it fizzled out after scoring only once. The final out of the inning came when pinch-hitter Mike Moustakas smoked a grounder up the middle – right into the perfectly-positioned shortstop Ramirez’s glove. It would have driven in two more had it gotten through, and changed the entire complexion of the contest.
Instead, Royals manager Ned Yost sent young Scott Alexander out to pitch the ninth with the score 4-1, and the hot Sox spoiled any thoughts of glory with a two run add-on via three hits and a walk that made it 6-1.
Tonight was a bit of a head-scratcher. It’s a bummer when your team loses. Fortunately, KC doesn’t do it much these days. Still, they looked uncharacteristically flat tonight for the second straight contest.
I think all the roster turmoil, chickenpox, etc. might be wiggling the apple cart a little bit. But one thing is for sure; this team has earned a lot of trust and latitude. They’ve been going full-throttle all year. They don’t quit, and they have talent. They have a real chance to go far.
The Royals can redeem themselves with a victory tomorrow at 1:10 PM Central. Tune in to see if they can avoid a sweep at the hands of their division rivals.