Jeremy Guthrie gave the Royals seven strong innings, yielding just three hits and one run as the Royals salvaged the final game of the series to beat Chicago 3-1. Guthrie struck out just two hitters and walked two, but more importantly, kept the ball in the ballpark for the first time in the month of May.
The White Sox, who had hit five home runs in the first two games of thie series, could not manage to hit a single ball out of the ballpark in this thick, humid air in Kansas City.
The White Sox were able to get on the board first by scoring the ROYALS way - a single, stolen base, and a clutch RBI single by veteran Paul Konerko. Despite a Jeremy Guthrie error later in the inning (what is it with our pitchers and errors?) the White Sox could add no more runs the rest of the night.
The Royals would tie it up in the third inning after a Pedro Ciriaco single and advancement to second on a Brett Hayes ground out. Nori Aoki would drive in his ninth run of the season on a single through the legs of pitcher Jose Quintana.
Aoki would be involved in the Royals taking the lead in the eighth as well. Nori decided to attempt to bunt with two strikes on him, reaching safely with a bunt single on the advice of hitting coach Pedro Grifol. Alcides Escobar would double to send Aoki to third, and the White Sox would decide to intentionally walk Eric Hosmer to get to Billy Butler, the ultimate slap in the face to Country Breakfast.
Billy would plate the lead run with a sacrifice fly, and rookie Jake Petricka would hand the Royals an insurance run by walking Alex Gordon, then issuing a bases loaded free pass to Danny Valencia. Greg Holland finished off a stressful ninth with a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
The Royals are back at .500. But this was a missed opportunity. Tomorrow is a day off to reflect, but the Royals need to figure out a way to beat their lesser Central Division foes on a more regular basis than this.