KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Playoff contenders should beware of the last-place Kansas City Royals.
Since Aug. 8, the Royals are 3-0 against the Boston Red Sox, 4-2 against the Chicago White Sox, 2-1 against the Minnesota Twins and 2-2 against the Oakland Athletics.
Mark Teahen hit a two-run homer to highlight a six-run fourth inning and the Royals held off the White Sox 7-5 Friday night.
"It is more exciting playing teams in it right now because obviously we're not playing for a whole lot," Teahen said. "To be able to knock off those teams is more exciting. We're not in the hunt, but we can affect who makes the playoffs."
The White Sox threatened in the ninth, loading the bases twice. Tadahito Iguchi drew a one-out walk, Jermaine Dye doubled and Jim Thome walked before Paul Konerko made it 7-5 with a sacrifice fly. A.J. Pierzynski walked to load the bases again, but Joe Crede flew out to left for the final out.
"That's not exactly the way I drew it up," said rookie Joe Nelson, who picked up his fifth save in as many opportunities. "It is a character builder, get yourself in a jam and get yourself out of a game. When Crede hit that last one, I said 'fly ball' and the weight was off my shoulders."
The White Sox remained a half-game in front of Minnesota, which lost at New York, in the AL wild-card standings.
"I hope everybody doesn't go home thinking that they almost blew it," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "I certainly don't look at it that way as we're playing the world champions. We had some anxious moments there in the eighth and ninth. Against these guys, the world champs, you've going to have games like that."
Five of the Royals' run in the fourth off Jose Contreras (11-7) were unearned thanks to three errors by the White Sox. Center fielder Rob Mackowiak threw wildly to third trying to get a runner, third baseman Crede overthrew first while fielding a bunt and shortstop Alex Cintron bobbled a grounder.
"The three mistakes we made cost us six runs," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I'm not going to blame Jose. If you don't get help, you're not going to look good. I'm not going to blame my players. Players make errors. It seemed like we played one bad inning."
Teahen, who leads the Royals with 18 home runs, hit a two-run homer into the Royals' bullpen in right field with two out in the inning. David DeJesus, who has safely in 10 of the past 11 games, also had a two-run double in the inning.
"It was a fastball in and I recognized it," Teahen said. "I wasn't trying to jerk it out of the park. I got to it and hit it good."
Contreras is 0-3 in four starts since an Aug. 11 victory over the Tigers.
"Errors are part of the game," Contreras said through a translator. "I wasn't at my best. When I needed to get the ball down, I couldn't do it."
Royals right-hander Runelvys Hernandez, who shut out Toronto in his previous start, allowed one run on five hits over six innings. Hernandez (5-8) is 3-1 in his past four starts.
Teahen, who was in a 4-for-26 skid and hitless in his previous nine at-bats, singled home DeJesus with two out in the third for the first Kansas City run.
The White Sox scored three runs in the eighth. Pierzynski and Ross Gload had RBI singles, while Paul Konerko was hit by Ambiorix Burgos with the bases loaded.
Crede hit his 29th home run in the fifth for the only run off Hernandez. The White Sox top the majors with 201 home runs. Crede, who also singled in the first, pushed his hit total to 142, which is a career high.
"This is a frustrating game for us," Crede said, referring to the team's errors. "The most frustrating thing is we don't do that often. Give them credit for taking advantage."
- Dye had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.
- If RHP Ryan Braun, who was promoted from Triple-A Omaha, gets in a game, he will be the 29th pitcher used by the Royals this season, which wished August with a 16-13 record, hitting .280 with 38 home runs and 150 runs, while the pitching staff had a 4.38 ERA.