The Royals continued to torment the Chicago White Sox at U.S.
Cellular Field on Sunday afternoon by sweeping a three-game series
with a 6-3 win to stay within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Detroit
Tigers in the American League Central.
The win was the seventh straight and 12th in the past 16 games for
Kansas City (36-32), which has won 10 of its last 11 games on
Chicago's south side. The Royals, who've won six straight games
against division opponents, next head to Detroit on Monday for a
"We put it on all cylinders this series," said Shields (8-3), who
picked up his second straight win despite lasting only six innings.
"We pitched, we hit, we played some good defense. We drew our walks.
We had good situational hitting and good timely hitting. I think
this is the first series all year that we really hit on all
cylinders, so it's really nice to see."
Shields allowed 10 hits and runners reached scoring position in all
but the second inning against him. The White Sox (33-37) just could
not capitalize, stranding 13 runners -- including two in the ninth
against closer Greg Holland. They also stranded 32 in the series.
"When you get a guy like Shields (and) you're able to get some guys
on base, you need to figure out a way to get a big hit and we
obviously didn't," said Chicago designated hitter Adam Dunn, who
went 1-for-5 and struck out three times with runners in scoring
position. "It's three games. You're going to lose games and you're
going to win games. We had a good series before it and a bad one
this time. We've got an off day (Monday), so hopefully come back
Tuesday and go get 'em."
One notable missed opportunity happened in the third, when Shields
escaped a jam with two on and two out. White Sox first baseman Jose
Abreu hit a long fly ball to center that looked like it might have a
chance to get over the fence, but it was caught by center fielder
Jarrod Dyson for the third out.
"Shields has a way of really grinding through innings and making big
pitches when he needs to, and I don't know if that was a turning
point," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I was glad the ball stayed in
the ballpark, though."
First baseman Eric Hosmer and catcher Salvador Perez (2-for-3) led
the way offensively for Kansas City, with each clubbing long home
runs to account for the Royals' first five runs.
Right-hander Andre Rienzo started for Chicago and took his fourth
straight loss. Rienzo has posted a 9.00 ERA in those four defeats,
after allowing six runs (all earned) on six hits and four walks
against the Royals.
"He was very erratic," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "In the
one inning, he hit somebody, walked somebody and gave up a homer.
You have to keep the ball in the yard and give us a chance. Anytime
you start putting guys on and creating your own trouble, that
becomes a problem."
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Abreu (2-for-4) and center fielder Adam Eaton (3-for-4, run scored)
led the way offensively for the Chicago (33-37), which has dropped
four straight and fell to a season-low four games under the .500
The Royals started the game by picking up where they left off in a
9-1 win Saturday. They scored two runs on four hits in the first off
Rienzo, with a two-run homer to center by Hosmer highlighting the
The White Sox scratched out a run in their half of the first on a
triple by Eaton, who scored on a balk that got Yost ejected, but
Kansas City kept building its lead. The Royals scored three more
runs in the third on a long homer by Perez to make it 5-1 before
Dyson rolled an RBI single up the middle for a 6-1 lead in the
fourth -- one batter after a replay ruling allowed third-baseman
Mike Moustakas to stay on second base after initially being called
out on a fielder's choice ground ball.
The White Sox cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fourth on a
two-run double by right fielder Alejandro De Aza, but Shields didn't
allow another run. Four Royals relievers threw three scoreless
innings to preserve the lead, with Holland closing it out for his
American League-leading 20th save.
NOTES: White Sox manager Robin Ventura started C Adrian Nieto on
Sunday against the Royals to give struggling C Tyler Flowers a day
off. ... The White Sox will host a private panel discussion and
luncheon Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field called "White Sox Baseball:
A History of Cuban Stars." Sharing their perspectives will be former
White Sox players Minnie Minoso and Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez,
along with current Sox players Nieto, Jose Abreu, Alexei Ramirez and
Dayan Viciedo. Pedro Gomez of ESPN will moderate the discussion. ...
Royals 3B Danny Valencia, on the 15-day disabled list with a
sprained muscle in his left hand, took batting practice again and is
nearing an injury-rehab assignment.
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