While it won't show up in the Win-Loss column, Jeremy Guthrie* was the Royals' player of the game today. The commodity that the Royals received for Jonathan Sanchez who they received for recently suspended Melky Cabrera allowed just one base-runner before his no-hitter was broken up on a dubious Konerko "single" that saw Alcides Escobar field a ball to his right on the lip of the grass only to throw it somewhat errantly and have the ball pop out of Hosmer's glove while swiping at it off the bounce. While Paul Konerko does many things well, running ain't one of them, but the official scorer still gave Konerko a single despite the fact that he'd have been out by a step-and-a-half.
*And A.J. Pierzynski's sterling defense.
This all proved to be of no matter as Guthrie gave up two two-out singles before being relieved by Tim Collins, who induced a grounder that went right between Hosmer's legs, plating two runs and knotting up the game at two runs apiece. To add prior injury to the insult of two miscues at first base, Hosmer struck out on a breaking ball low and away that was roughly two feet off the plate with the bases loaded in the Royals two-run seventh. Needless to say, this was not a banner day for Eric Hosmer and was emblematic of his entire 2012 campaign.
Luckily, Douchezynski still plays for the Pale Hoes and all of this negative energy was quickly expelled from Kauffman Stadium and the Royals completed a three-game sweep of the first-place Southsiders. The visiting catcher allowed two Jose Quintana pitches in the dirt to reach the backstop, channeling the unforgettable Miguel Olivo. The second wild pitch came with Lorenzo Cain on second and Alcides Escobar at first in the sixth inning. Salvador Perez plated them with a double that followed an intentional walk of Royals titan of fearsome batsmannery Billy Butler. This put the Royals ahead two runs to none before yielding the two aforementioned runs via the embarrassing Hosmer error.
Where that frosted-tipped toolbag of the most heinous variety really screwed the pooch was in the eighth, in which the Pale Hoes played like the Royals of yore. Jesse Crain walked Butler. Dyson pinch-ran and immediately pinched a bag. Perez singled, scoring Dyson, and reached second on the throw. Moustakas walked. Francoeur struck out looking (no, seriously, sometimes he strikes out without swinging at a ball five feet outside of the strike zone). Hosmer walked. Giavotella grounded into a fielder's choice with Perez being thrown out at home only to have Pierzynski throw the ball over Konerko's glove up the line at first for what should have been the final out of a one-run inning. Instead, the airmailed throw led to Moustakas crossing the plate, Hosmer standing on third, and Giavotella standing at first. Lorenzo Cain singled home Hosmer, and the Royals had a three-run cushion before Escobar struck out to end the inning.
Holland closed the door as the Division-Leading Chicagoans were unable to muster the gumption to overcome a three-run deficit.
Only two good weeks away from the playoffs, guys (and gals).