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Chicago at Kansas City

Royals take second straight from reigning champs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Mike Sweeney was glad he stuck around for the end of this one.

Sweeney hit a two-run homer two innings after he was hit on his left elbow by a pitch and the Kansas City Royals rallied for a 4-3 victory over the slumping Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

"That's the luxury of being the designated hitter," Sweeney said. "(The trainers) treated me between innings with ice. It was truly a team effort. Without them, Matt Stairs probably would have hit the home run."

Sweeney homered on a 2-2 pitch off Cliff Politte (0-1) with Mark Grudzielanek, who had singled for his third hit, aboard in the eighth. Sweeney's first homer of the season landed in the first row over the left-field fence.

"I knew my first couple of at-bats I didn't fare too well," Sweeney said. "Against Politte, I was trying to get Grudzielanek to second. Politte is tough. His fastball is in the upper 90s (mph) and his slider is in the 80s. I was just battling, battling, battling."

The White Sox, who won 16 of their first 20 games last season, have lost four of their first five in defense of their world championship.

"We are the team to beat and we're not off to a good start," Politte said. "It is tough because we know we're better than this. I didn't do my job. It was a good pitch, but that doesn't make it any better."

The White Sox have lost four straight after winning their season opener.

"It's a different season," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We have to continue to play and forget about what's already happened."

Sweeney heard boos after he struck out in his first two at-bats, but changed that to cheers in the eighth.

"I know in the long run the fans will be behind us and we hope to put on a good show for our fans," Sweeney said.

Javier Vazquez, who was making his White Sox debut, tossed seven strong innings. He allowed five hits and a walk and left with a 3-2 lead.

The White Sox had managed just two hits before the seventh when they strung together four hits and scored two runs off Andrew Sisco. Jim Thome's double off the left-field wall scored Brian Anderson to tie it at 2-2. A.J. Pierzynski's infield single scored Scott Podsednik with the go-ahead run.

Vazquez held the Royals to two hits over five shutout innings before Grudzielanek singled in the sixth and Sweeney was hit by a pitch. Reggie Sanders' double to the left-center gap drove in both runners.

Elmer Dessens (1-0), the fourth of five Kansas City pitchers, picked up the victory. Ambiorix Burgos worked a flawless ninth for his first save of the season.

Royals starter Denny Bautista gave up just one run and one hit over six innings, but walked five and left after 94 pitches.

"He did a great job," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "He's nice to have in the rotation with that kind of stuff."

Bautista, who did not make a start after May 11 last season because of a sore shoulder, did not allow a hit until Paul Konerko's single to center in the fourth. Konerko's single advanced Thome, who led off the inning with a walk, to third. Thome scored on Joe Crede's sacrifice fly to center.

Notes

  • Royals CF David DeJesus did not play because of tightness in his left hamstring, which he injured Friday while running the bases.
  • Podsednik snapped an 0-for-16 skid with an eighth-inning single.
  • RHP Runelvys Hernandez is scheduled to start on Sunday for the Royals' Triple-A Omaha club. If he has a strong outing he could be promoted for a Friday start at Tampa Bay. That will be the first time the Royals need a fifth starter.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Kansas City starter Denny Bautista walks five and strikes out five while allowing one hit.  (AP)
Kansas City starter Denny Bautista walks five and strikes out five while allowing one hit. (AP)

Chicago White Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF4110001 .059
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B2000202 .385
Jim Thome, DH3111102 .333
Paul Konerko, 1B2010201 .250
A.J. Pierzynski, C4021025 .375
Joe Crede, 3B3001002 .214
Rob Mackowiak, RF4000021 .200
Juan Uribe, SS3000111 .235
Brian Anderson, CF3110021 .267
   a- Ross Gload, PH1000000 .000
Totals293636716 
a-flied out for Anderson in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jim Thome (1, Sisco), Brian Anderson (2, Sisco)
SF - Joe Crede (1)
RBI - Jim Thome (4), A.J. Pierzynski (3), Joe Crede (2)
CS - Tadahito Iguchi (1, 2nd base by D. Bautista/Bako)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Paul Konerko (1, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago White Sox
Javier Vazquez 7522170 2.57
Cliff Politte (BS,1; L,0-1) 0.1222001 11.57
Neal Cotts 0.2000010 3.86
HBP - Sweeney (by Javier Vazquez)
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 98-65, Cliff Politte 17-12, Neal Cotts 17-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 3-11, Neal Cotts 1-1
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 28, Cliff Politte 3, Neal Cotts 3
Kansas City Royals
Shane Costa, CF4010011 .286
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4230001 .313
Mike Sweeney, DH3212022 .154
Reggie Sanders, RF4012011 .286
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B4000001 .143
Emil Brown, LF3000101 .214
Mark Teahen, 3B4000021 .067
Angel Berroa, SS3010001 .417
Paul Bako, C3000021 .000
Totals324741810 
Batting
2B - Mark Grudzielanek (1, Vazquez), Reggie Sanders (1, Vazquez)
HR - Mike Sweeney (1, Politte)
RBI - Mike Sweeney 2 (2), Reggie Sanders 2 (4)
SB - Emil Brown (2, 2nd base off Vazquez/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Grudzielanek-Berroa-Mientkiewicz, Teahen-Grudzielanek-Mientkiewicz
Kansas City Royals
Denny Bautista 6111550 1.50
Luke Hudson (H,1) 1100000 0.00
Andrew Sisco (BS,1) 0.1422100 11.57
Elmer Dessens (W,1-0) 0.2000000 0.00
Ambiorix Burgos (S,1) 1000020 0.00
IBB - Konerko by Andrew Sisco
WP - Denny Bautista (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Denny Bautista 94-52, Luke Hudson 12-9, Andrew Sisco 25-15, Elmer Dessens 5-4, Ambiorix Burgos 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Denny Bautista 4-7, Luke Hudson 1-2, Elmer Dessens 1-0
Batters Faced - Denny Bautista 22, Luke Hudson 4, Andrew Sisco 6, Elmer Dessens 1, Ambiorix Burgos 3
Game Information
Attendance - 18031
Game Time - 2:47
Temperature - 51
Umpires - Home - Bruce Froemming, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Brian Runge, Third Base - Paul Emmel