Chicago held a 6-4 lead heading into the eighth inning, and brought in setup man Jesse Crain to pitch in the eighth. Crain, who has been one of the best relievers in baseball this season, surrendered back-to-back singles to Mike Moustakas and David Lough to lead off the inning. Elliot Johnson then laid a down a bunt, and Crain attempted to throw out Moustakas at third base. The pitcher bobbled the ball, leaving all three runners safe with nobody out.
With the bases loaded, Crain struck out George Kottaras and Jarrod Dyson, nearly escaping from the jam. Alex Gordon worked a two-out walk against Crain, forcing in Moose from third. Alcides Escobar followed Gordon with a groundball at shortstop Alexei Ramirez, which should have ended the threat.
Thankfully, Ramirez booted the ball, allowing Lough and Johnson to score. Eric Hosmer flied out to end the inning, but the Royals had gained their first lead of the day in a back-and-forth game:
The White Sox plated a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Alejandro De Aza led off the top of the first with a four pitch walk, then Ramirez hit a single to left. James Shields forced Alex Rios to flyout to right, but followed with a walk to Paul Konerko to load the bases.
Adam Dunn this hit a sharp groundball right at Hosmer. The ball bounced right at him, but it was the dreaded in-between hop, and the ball ricocheted off Hosmer into rightfield for a single, scoring two runs. Shields forced a Dayan Viciedo flyout and Conor Gillaspie strike out to end the inning.
Anonymous Twitter celebrity Brandon H. (BHWick around these parts) gives us the lowdown on Shields first inning struggles:
BTW, Shields has a 7.88 ERA in the first inning. 14 earned runs in 16 first innings— Brandon H. (@BHIndepMO) June 23, 2013
Chicago added two more runs in the top of the third. Shields hit Rios with a pitch to lead off the inning, then Dunn crushed a one-out homer to centerfield. Shields threw a changeup down and away, but Dunn extended his arms and muscled the ball out of the ballpark, giving the White Sox a 4-0 lead.
Kansas City scored their first run in the bottom of the third. Dyson slapped a one-out single to rightfield, then stole second on the first pitch to Gordon. Gordon then smacked a single up the middle, easily scoring Dyson. Gordon reached second with a stolen base of his own, but an Escobar popout and Hosmer groundout ended the inning.
The White Sox put two runners on base in both the fourth and the fifth innings, but Shields worked out of the jams without surrendering another run. Shields never looked comfortable on the mound, allowing seven hits and three walks to Chicago.
The Royals offense decided to bail Shields out this time, getting the start off the hook for the loss with a three-run fifth inning. Kottaras and Dyson (!) hit back-to-back home runs against Dylan Axelrod to cut the White Sox lead to one. Neither player has seen much playing time at Kauffman Stadium recently, so the park must not have affected their swing.
Later in the inning, Escobar looped a one-out double, then Billy Butler drove Escobar in with a two-out single to tie the game.
J.C. Gutierrez allowed to White Sox to reach base in the sixth, but did strikeout three White Sox to preserve the tie ballgame. Kelvin Herrera replaced Gutierrez in the seventh, but ran into some trouble.
Herrera allowed a one-out single to Dayan Viciedo, then issued a walk to Jeff Keppinger. Gordan Beckham followed with a deep double to centerfield, plating both runs to give the White Sox a 6-4 lead. Herrera now has a 5.20 ERA in 27 2/3 innings pitched.
Matt Thornton pitched a dominated seventh for the White Sox, while Luke Hochevar did the same in the eighth for the Royals. Greg Holland tossed a perfect ninth inning for the Royals, earning his 16th save of the season.