Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Norichika Aoki drove in the game-winning run
in the top of the ninth and James Shields pitched seven strong innings, as the
Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White Sox, 2-1, in the rubber match of a
Mike Moustakas started the frame with a single to right and moved to second on
a sacrifice bunt. Aoki singled on a Soft line drive, but Sox center fielder
Adam Eaton threw a strike from center as Moustakas rounded third. The ball
beat Moustakas home, but he was able to knock it loose from catcher Tyler
Flowers' glove as he slid into the plate.
Greg Holland retired the side in order in the ninth to register his 26th save.
Shields, who was going for his fourth straight win at U.S. Cellular Field,
gave up one run and six hits while striking out seven, but received
a no decision.
"He has the ability to make big pitches in crucial situations," Royals manager
Ned Yost said of Shields. "That's why he's our ace."
Wade Davis (6-2) pitched a perfect eighth inning for the Royals, who have won
their fourth consecutive series on Chicago's home field.
Zach Putnam (2-1) gave up two hits and the deciding run in the ninth for
Jose Quintana started for the White Sox and went seven innings, only
allowing one run and scattering seven hits, but received his fourth straight
The Royals opened the game with one run in the first. Lorenzo Cain hit a lead-
off double that bounced over the wall in center. A sacrifice bunt moved him to
third and Eric Hosmer hit a sacrifice fly to send Cain across the plate.
The White Sox leveled the score in their half of the inning. After Jose Abreu
doubled to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, Adam Dunn singled to score
Chicago was poised to score in the second, but couldn't get anyone across.
Shields allowed a single, a double and a walk to load the bases, but was able
to get out of the inning unharmed after Gordon Beckham's fielder's choice
"They've got some good arms out there," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said
of the Royals. "Early on you're wanting to do anything you can to add a little
pressure and push a little bit to be able to score."
From then on, Shields was dominant. After the jam, he only gave up two hits
and struck out seven until he was removed following a 1-2-3 seventh.
The Royals managed to put runners on the corners in the top of the sixth.
After back-to-back singles, Quintana fanned Danny Valencia to end the inning.
In the top of the eighth, Ronald Belisario loaded the bases on a single, walk
and hit-by-pitch, but Eric Surkamp took the mound and induced a pop out from
pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez for the final out of the inning.
Kansas City has won eight of its last nine series at U.S. Cellular Field ...
Davis, who last allowed a run on June 25, hasn't given up an extra base hit
this year. He is the only pitcher with more than four appearances to
accomplish the feat ... Hosmer left the game in the eighth due to an injured
hand, ending his hitting streak at 16 games.