Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Nori Aoki went 2-for-4 and scored the
deciding run in the bottom of the eighth inning that gave the Kansas City
Royals a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Aoki also had an RBI on a third-inning single, but it was his two-strike bunt
base hit with one out in the Royals' half of the eighth with the game knotted
at 1-1 that turned into the game's pivotal moment.
Alcides Escobar followed with a sharp double off Chicago starter Jose Quintana
for his second hit of the night, which set up Billy Butler's tie-breaking
sacrifice fly that brought home Aoki without a throw.
Quintana (2-4), who entered the eighth having retired 10 straight Royals, was
charged with all three runs over 7 1/3 innings in a hard-luck defeat.
"(Quintana has) had some good starts and we haven't scored for him," White Sox
designated hitter Paul Konerko Quintana said.
Wade Davis (3-1) fanned two during a 1-2-3 top of the eighth to record the win
in relief of Jeremy Guthrie, who limited the White Sox to one run and just
three hits over the first seven innings.
Danny Valencia also drove in a run to help Kansas City avoid a sweep of the
"It was nice to end the home series with a win," Guthrie said.
Both starters were on top of their games for much of the contest, as Guthrie
didn't allow a hit after the third inning and Quintana set the side down in
order in five of the first seven frames.
Guthrie's only mistake was a leadoff walk to Adam Dunn in the top of the
second. Though Dunn was erased on Alexei Ramirez's fielder's choice, the
Chicago shortstop stole second and scored on Konerko's single to center that
put the White Sox up 1-0.
Quintana began his outing by recording seven straight outs until Pedro Ciriaco
reached on an infield single in the third and moved to second on a groundout
before beating the throw home on Aoki's two-out single to left.
The Royals then loaded the bases with one out in the fourth on singles by
Butler, Valencia and Lorenzo Cain, but Quintana got Ciriaco to bounce back to
the mound for a 1-2-3 double play that maintained the 1-1 deadlock.
Kansas City finally broke through behind Aoki and Escobar's exploits in the
eighth, tacking on another run in the inning when Chicago reliever Jake
Petricka walked Alex Gordon and Valencia to force in Escobar.
The White Sox put two aboard against Greg Holland in the ninth, but the Royals
closer nailed down his 13th save by inducing a game-ending double-play ball
The Royals improved to 16-3 this season when Aoki scores at least once ...
Chicago's Conor Gillaspie extended his hitting streak to eight games with a
single in his first at-bat ... The White Sox released veteran infielder Jeff
Keppinger on Wednesday, one week after designating him for assignment ...
Quintana fell to 0-4 in nine career starts against Kansas City.