Saturday, April 05, 2014
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Guthrie, Royals Stay Cool In 7-5 Win Over White Sox

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[April 05, 2014]  KANSAS CITY, Mo.  Jeremy Guthrie is used to pitching with runners on base, but the Kansas City Royals veteran right-hander does not get rattled in those situations.

Guthrie gave up four runs on seven hits, four walks and a hit batter in 5 2-3 innings in a 7-5 victory Friday over the Chicago White Sox in the Royals' home opener before a sold out crowd of 40,103.

White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton led off the game with a single and stopped at third on Marcus Semien's double down the right field line. Guthrie limited the damage Jose Abreu's sacrifice fly to right scored Eaton, giving him six RBIs in four games, for the only run of the inning.

"Those guys slapped a couple of good hits there and started them off well," Guthrie said. "We settled in and made great defensive plays again, I've said now for a number of starts. Make pitches and make them hit the ball and for the most part our pitchers will take care of the rest."

Guthrie won a career-high 15 games last season, while allowing an American League high 236 hits.

"I try not to get too excited in situations good or bad," Guthrie said. "I'm more or less a boring pitcher, I think it's been said. I just try to stay focused on the hitter instead of the entire situation and get the guy out. I realize they are just amped up as a pitcher be in those situations and try to get a big hit and I try to feed off of that."

Nori Aoki and Omar Infante each stroked three hits.

Aoki, who was acquired in a trade with Milwaukee, and Infante, a free agent signed to a four-year contract, opened the three-run first with singles. After Eric Hosmer was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Alex Gordon hit a three-run double.

"That's why we made those additions, guys who can get on base and put the ball in play," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Nori and Omar were on base seven times, which was big. That set the table for Gordy's big double. It was a good offensive day for us."

The Royals stroked 13 hits, including two by Lorenzo Cain, who drove in a pair of runs, while Hosmer contributed two hits, including a double.

White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers had his streak of seven consecutive hits ended in the eighth when Aoki dropped his fly to shallow right for an error.

Reliever Greg Holland, who recorded a franchise-record 47 saves last year, worked a spotless ninth for his first save in his first opportunity.

"You have an offense that feels like they can come back," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You're one hit away or one inning away. Guys are still getting on base and they're still battling. You like that kind of effort."

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White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton led off the game with a single and stopped at third on Marcus Semien's double down the right-field line. Jose Abreu's sacrifice fly to right scored Eaton, giving him six RBIs in four games.

Aoki and Infante led off the Royals' first with singles off Erik Johnson in Kansas City's three-run inning.

In the top of the second, Alexei Ramirez was thrown out at the plate when he tried to score on Tyler Flowers' double to left. Gordon, a three-time Gold Glove winner, picked up his second assist in three games this season.

The Royals added a run in the second when Infante's two-out single scored Cain.

The White Sox cut the lead to 4-2 in the fifth when Conor Gillaspie's fly out to right with the bases loaded scored Flowers.

The Royals answered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Cain stroked a two-run single, while Billy Butler scored on a wild pitch.

White Sox rookie right-hander Johnson failed to make it out of the fifth, allowing seven runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings, while throwing 98 pitches.

"I tried to be real aggressive early in the count, especially early in the game," Johnson said. "They did a good job of putting bats on the ball and putting the ball in play and finding holes out there. That's a good, strong-hitting lineup over there. Especially in the fifth, too many free bases are going to hurt you later. In the first, giving a free base after two singles isn't going to help you either."

NOTES: The White Sox placed RHP Nate Jones on the disabled list with a strained left hip. They recalled RHP Jake Petricka from Triple-A Charlotte to take his roster spot. ... Conor Gillaspie returned to the White Sox lineup after missing two games with the flu. ...White Sox DH Adam Dunn singled to lead off the fourth, his first hit this year that did not clear the fences. He was 2-for-13 before that single with both hits homers. ...LHPs John Danks of the White Sox and Bruce Chen of the Royals will make their initial starts on Saturday.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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