Guthrie, Royals stifle Sox
By BLAIR KERKHOFF
By BLAIR KERKHOFF
The Kansas City Star
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (MCT) — With a winning home stand in the balance, the Royals leaned on their Sox stuffer, and Jeremy Guthrie delivered.
Guthrie limited the White Sox to one run over seven innings and the Royals came through with a pair of runs in the eighth to pull out a 3-1 victory on Wednesday.
The outcome prevented a White Sox sweep, and allowed the Royals to post a 5-4 mark on the home stand. They moved back to .500 on the season heading into an off day before opening a three-game series at the Angels on Friday.
In two-plus seasons with the Royals, Guthrie is 5-2 with a 2.60 ERA against the White Sox, and his mastery over the club was in dire need after the first two games of the series.
The White Sox bombed five home runs in two games, winning both 7-6. Guthrie kept the Sox in the park, allowing one run.
Guthrie didn't get the victory. Reliever Wade Davis did with a two-strikeout eighth inning. And Greg Holland picked up his 13th save.
The Royals broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth when Nori Aoki pushed a one-out bunt to the left side that didn't prompt a throw.
Alcides Escobar followed with a hustle double to left, and Eric Hosmer was intentionally walked by starter Jose Quintana.
That was it for the lefty Quintana. Billy Butler faced righty reliever Jake Petricka and got down 1-2 in the count.
But Butler, the Royals' hottest hitter, drove Petricka's offering on the outside part of the plate to right, deep enough to score Aoki with the sacrifice fly.
Danny Valencia then showed great patience, coaching a walk from Petricka on a 3-1 pitch.
, and Escobar trotted down the line with the insurance run.
The White Sox pushed across their first run in the second inning with the help of the Royals. Adam Dunn drew a leadoff walk and was erased when Guthrie fired to second on a comebacker, tailor-made for a double play.
But second baseman Pedro Ciriaco, filling in for injured Omar Infante, air mailed the back half of the play and Alexei Ramirez was on. He stole second and scored on Paul Konerko's single.
The Royals answered in the third with a couple of soft served singles.
Ciriaco redeemed himself by legging out a roller to shortstop. He took second on a fielder's choice and came around when Nori Aoki picked up his first RBI of the homestand, a seeing-eye single through the left side.
Once again, Ciriaco was in the middle of the next scoring chance. The Royals loaded the bases on singles by Butler, Valencia and Lorenzo Cain.
Butler couldn't score on Cain's hit that blooped to left. But the one out, the Royals had a grand opportunity to push across a run until Ciriaco one-hopped Quintana's first pitch back to the mound, starting a pitcher to catcher to first base double play.
From there, Quintana and Guthrie dueled. Guthrie didn't allow a hit after Gordon Beckham's third inning double and handed the game to Wade Davis in the eighth, completing a 100-pitch outing, and putting the Royals in position for a victory.