White Sox grab lead with five-run sixth, then hold off Royals
CHICAGO -- The White Sox completed an unofficial sweep of the Royals on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field with a 5-3 victory in the regularly scheduled contest. The White Sox also won the suspended game from Friday by a 3-2 margin, when Avisail Garcia delivered a walk-off single against Kelvin Herrera to score Melky Cabrera. The teams only needed to play the ninth to complete that game.
"You know they're going to be tough so you have to be able to grind and stay with it and have confidence and all that stuff, and our guys did that," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Heading out on the road, you need to have it, but especially against a team that's already played you tough, you have to be able to withstand it and keep going and stick together. These guys are definitely doing it."
In the main affair, the White Sox took advantage of a rare Mike Moustakas miscue to score four unearned runs during a five-run sixth. Conor Gillaspie delivered the key hit, ripping a 2-1 pitch from Edinson Volquez to right for a two-run single to give the White Sox a 4-3 lead with two outs in the sixth.
Volquez had allowed one Jose Abreu single through the first five innings. The White Sox knocked him out in the sixth with the five runs on five hits. John Danks earned the victory for the White Sox, yielding three runs on five hits over six innings. He fanned eight, with all eight coming in the first four innings.
In the eighth, Cabrera made a tremendous leaping grab in front of the left-field wall on an Eric Hosmer drive for the third out, saving at least a run to keep it a 5-3 game.
Sunday's win -- saved by David Robertson after he got the victory in the suspended game -- completed a stretch of 17 games against the American League Central to open the 2015 season for the White Sox. The team stands at 8-9 entering a three-game series in Baltimore beginning Monday.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gordon goes into stands: Alex Gordon dazzled in the field as well as at the plate, making a running, leaping catch into the left-field stands to start the bottom of the sixth. When the White Sox's Micah Johnson lifted a fly ball toward the left-field line, Gordon raced over, jumped over the short fence and make a backhand catch before crashing into stunned fans in the second row. More >
Floodgates opened: With one out, runners on first and third and the Royals leading by a 3-0 margin, Moustakas couldn't corral Abreu's grounder that might have been an inning-ending double play. That costly mistake scored one run but kept the inning alive for the White Sox to score five and grab the lead. "It took a hop, but that's a play I need to make, and 99 out of a hundred times I make that play," Moustakas said.
That one bad pitch: Danks' effort qualified as a quality start Sunday, but it would have been high-quality if not for a 2-1 fastball to Gordon in the fourth that he hit out. Otherwise, Danks was on his game facing a team that he now has an 8-1 career mark against.
Hitting for power: The Royals managed just five hits in Danks' six innings, but three went for extra bases. Omar Infante and Moustakas each doubled in the third for a 1-0 lead and Gordon followed with a two-run blast in the fourth to make it 3-0.
"We had a few guys throwing haymakers out there, so that's what happens." -- Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain, reacting to the suspensions stemming from Thursday's fracas with the White Sox
RAMIREZ MISSES THE LONG BALL
Since his 99th career home run coming Sept. 13 of last season, Alexei Ramirez has gone 123 at-bats without going deep.
Volquez gave up five runs (one earned) in 5 2/3 innings on Sunday, snapping his streak of nine straight quality starts in the regular season dating back to Aug. 29. Volquez took a one-hit shutout into the sixth. In his previous three starts this season, the right-hander had pitched at least seven innings and had given up a total of five runs. More >
Royals: Jason Vargas gets the start in the opener of a three-game series against the Indians in Cleveland on Monday. The left-hander is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA this season. The game starts at 5:10 p.m. CT as the Indians are experimenting with beginning some night games an hour earlier.
White Sox: Hector Noesi makes his third start of the season and first road start as the White Sox travel to Baltimore to begin a seven-game trip Monday at 6:05 p.m. CT. He features a 1-4 mark and 5.34 ERA lifetime against the Orioles, covering nine appearances and four starts. But he is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA at Camden Yards.
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