CHICAGO -- Four innings after nearly hitting a home run, Joe Crede had a go-ahead single with two outs in the eighth inning, sending the Chicago White Sox on their way to another home win.
"He's been a guy in clutch situations that you definitely want up there," Jim Thome said after Chicago's 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. "Of any guy on our club, we definitely want him in that situation."
With the score tied at two, Thome took advantage of a shift when his fly to center off Elmer Dessens (2-2) dropped just in front of a diving Kerry Robinson, who was playing deep and toward the right-center gap. Paul Konerko was intentionally walked, and Crede singled to left.
"I'm not looking to hit a home run in that situation," said Crede, who is batting .419 in his last eight games."
Chicago has won 11 of its last 12 home games and eight of 10 overall. The Royals dropped to 2-14 on the road this year.
"He's just got a knack for getting big hits," Thome said.
Crede hit a fourth-inning drive to the 400-foot mark in center, where Robinson jumped at the wall, thinking the ball was heading out. But the ball bounced on the warning track and into the stands as Crede rounded the bases and home-run fireworks went off.
"I thought it was on its way out of here," Crede said.
Upon seeing it hit the track and bounce over, he admitted to thinking: "Well, maybe I can steal one right here."
Kansas City manager Buddy Bell came out to argue, and Crede was sent back to second, where he was stranded when Rob Mackowiak grounded out.
"I knew right away it was a double," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said.
It was an adventurous day in center for Robinson, who misplayed one ball and miscommunicated with left fielder Emil Brown on Thome's bloop double.
"On the first ball, no excuse. I was trying to be overly aggressive and make a play on the ball. When he first hit it, I thought it was way out," Robinson said. "On the second one, we were shifted all the way to the right. I assumed that Emil would be able to get to that ball a little easier. He thought that I said, 'I got it.' I didn't. I thought he said, 'I got it.' And apparently he didn't, either."
Brandon McCarthy (2-1) got one out, striking out John Buck in the eighth with Angel Berroa on third. Bobby Jenks struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances.
Chicago starter Mark Buehrle allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, and Kansas City's Mark Redman gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings, striking out six. Redman is winless in 14 starts since last July 24 with Pittsburgh.
After Bell argued with plate umpire Eric Cooper in the fifth and got ejected following a called third strike on Mark Grudzielanek, Tony Graffanino put the Royals ahead with his second home run of the season. Two pitches later, Brown hit his second of the year.
Kansas City had not hit consecutive homers since last June 20, when Buck and Ruben Gotay connected at Chicago.
Pablo Ozuna hit a two-run triple to left-center in the bottom half, then was tagged out by Redman for an unassisted double play when Tadahito Iguchi popped up a squeeze bunt attempt.
White Sox RF Jermaine Dye missed his fifth straight game with a tight left calf. ... Royals OF Reggie Sanders was out of the lineup for the third straight game with a tight left hamstring. ... Kansas City DH Justin Huber made his first start of the season and was 1-for-2 with a walk. ... Graffanino, who entered with a .143 average, batted third for the first time this season and had two singles in addition to his home run. ... The game drew 38,870, Chicago's sixth sellout this season. ... Thome had a pair of doubles. He had homered in three straight games.