Kansas City at Chicago

Scoreboard
Kansas City (56-70) «2200002107100
Chi. White Sox (56-70)200000013691

Butler, Bannister make sure Royals avoid South Side sweep

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Brian Bannister doesn't want to pitch for a last-place club. His sights are set on fourth place. For the Kansas City Royals, baby steps are necessary.

Billy Butler homered and drove in three runs to back Bannister's strong outing, and Kansas City held off the Chicago White Sox 7-6 on Wednesday. The clubs are tied at the bottom of the five-team AL Central at 56-70.

"I think fourth just sounds better than last," Bannister said. "Because when you're in last, you don't really know what place you're in. At least with fourth, you know there are three teams ahead of you."

Kansas City ended a three-game skid and kept the White Sox from completing their first series sweep at home since Aug. 11-13, 2006, against Detroit.

Bannister (10-7) won for the fifth time in seven starts and lowered his ERA to 3.28, seventh-best in the American League. After giving up two runs, three hits and a walk in the first inning, the right-hander retired 18 of 21 batters. He is the first Royals rookie to win 10 games since Rusty Meachum in 1992.

"He pitched great," Kansas City manager Buddy Bell said. "After the first inning he was locked in. He had great tempo. Typical game."

Coming off his first complete game, Bannister left with two outs in the seventh before Jimmy Gobble got out of the inning.

"The biggest thing in this game is being able to make adjustments," Bannister said. "I came in after the first and watched myself on tape. I made some mechanical adjustments. My front shoulder was flying open a little bit. That was causing me to land on my heel a little bit. I went through it a couple times and made the necessary adjustments."

The White Sox cut it to 7-6 in the ninth on Josh Fields' three-run homer off Joakim Soria with two outs. Jim Thome singled before Soria struck out Paul Konerko to end it.

"You never know when you have enough runs," said Butler, the AL rookie of the month in July. "I'm just glad I could help the team win today. I had some tough at-bats. I'm just glad I could do something positive."

Konerko hit his 25th home run in the eighth off Gobble to make it 7-3.

The Royals struck early against struggling Jose Contreras, scoring two runs in each of the first two innings. The White Sox starter hit Mark Grudzielanek with a pitch in the first and gave up a single to David DeJesus before a sacrifice fly by Butler and a run-scoring single from Ross Gload made it 2-0.

The White Sox tied it in the bottom half on RBI singles by Darin Erstad and Jermaine Dye, but Contreras (6-16) fell apart again with two outs in the second. He walked No. 9 hitter Jason LaRue and gave up three consecutive singles to Joey Gathright, Grudzielanek and DeJesus to make it 4-2.

"I think his biggest problem was location," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "After the second inning he settled down a little bit. When I went to the mound I said, 'I don't care how many innings you're going to throw, I want you to be aggressive. Give me the best fastballs and the best of what you have for today's game."'

Contreras, sent to the bullpen for two appearances earlier this month, has lost nine consecutive starts. In danger of losing 20 games, he said he hasn't thought at all about ending his season early.

"I feel good and my arm feels great," Contreras said through a translator. "I'm healthy."

Guillen said he will continue to send out Contreras for the remainder of the season.

"I know how this kid feels," Guillen said. "He played for pride his whole career. Now he's getting paid. Obviously he's going to feel embarrassed and that he's let people down."

Contreras rebounded to throw four scoreless innings before giving way to Mike Myers in the seventh. In his second appearance for Chicago in two days since being acquired from the Yankees on Monday, Myers recorded two quick outs before DeJesus reached on a bunt single. Myers then gave up Butler's fifth homer to make it 6-2.

Emil Brown scored from third on catcher Toby Hall's throwing error in the eighth, making it 7-2.

Notes

  • Bell said the Royals probably will put OF Mark Teahen on the 15-day disabled list with an elbow injury.
  • Contreras gave up four runs and six hits in six innings.
  • The Royals placed LHP Odalis Perez on the 15-day disabled list with a left knee sprain and recalled OF Shane Costa from Triple-A Omaha.
  • DeJesus had three hits.
  • Guillen said he might put Thome in the leadoff spot late in the season if the slugger still hasn't cracked the 500-homer mark. Thome has 493.
  • The White Sox had an announced attendance of 31,739, though only a portion of those fans showed up.
  • White Sox OF Scott Podsednik, who strained his right rib cage muscle Tuesday night, pinch ran in the ninth for Thome. Podsednik has made two trips to the DL this season, one with a left rib cage injury.
  • Gathright had two stolen bases in the fourth. He has nine on the season.
 
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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Let's swipe two: Joey Gathright steals third for his second stolen base of the fourth inning.  (AP)
Let's swipe two: Joey Gathright steals third for his second stolen base of the fourth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

J. Fields
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Kansas City

D. DeJesus
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Kansas City Royals
Joey Gathright, LF5110012 .358
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4111001 .303
David DeJesus, CF5231000 .274
Billy Butler, DH4113002 .298
Ross Gload, 1B4011010 .301
Emil Brown, RF4110021 .235
Alex Gordon, 3B4020000 .246
Jason Smith, SS4000013 .202
    Tony Pena, SS0000000 .264
Jason LaRue, C2100102 .145
Totals36710615  
Batting
2B - Alex Gordon (27, Contreras)
HR - Billy Butler (5, Myers)
SF - Billy Butler (2)
RBI - Mark Grudzielanek (41), David DeJesus (50), Billy Butler 3 (40), Ross Gload (41)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Grudzielanek (16), David DeJesus (22), Billy Butler 2 (10), Ross Gload (18)
SB - Joey Gathright 2 (9, 2nd base off Contreras/Hall, 3rd base off Contreras/Hall), David DeJesus (7, 2nd base off Contreras/Hall), Alex Gordon (13, 2nd base off Floyd/Hall)
Team LOB - 6
Kansas City Royals
Brian Bannister (W,10-7) 6.2522230 3.28
Jimmy Gobble 1111121 3.32
Joakim Soria 1.1333131 2.48
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Bannister 101-64, Jimmy Gobble 23-13, Joakim Soria 36-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Bannister 5-12, Jimmy Gobble 1-0, Joakim Soria 1-0
Batters Faced - Brian Bannister 27, Jimmy Gobble 5, Joakim Soria 8
Chicago White Sox
Jerry Owens, CF3100210 .246
Josh Fields, 3B4113122 .245
Jim Thome, DH5120021 .265
    Scott Podsednik, PR-DH0000000 .257
Paul Konerko, 1B4211111 .270
Darin Erstad, LF4021000 .272
Jermaine Dye, RF4011011 .245
Juan Uribe, SS4120003 .225
Danny Richar, 2B4000003 .186
Toby Hall, C4000012 .224
Totals3669648  
Batting
2B - Jim Thome (16, Bannister), Juan Uribe (11, Soria)
HR - Josh Fields (15, Soria), Paul Konerko (25, Gobble)
RBI - Josh Fields 3 (46), Paul Konerko (69), Darin Erstad (27), Jermaine Dye (63)
2-OUT RBI - Josh Fields 3 (11), Darin Erstad (15), Jermaine Dye (31)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Toby Hall (3, Throwing)
Chicago White Sox
Jose Contreras (L,6-16) 6644130 6.18
Mike Myers 1222011 3.02
Gavin Floyd 2210010 7.06
HBP - Grudzielanek (by Jose Contreras), LaRue (by Jose Contreras)
Pitches-Strikes - Jose Contreras 104-68, Mike Myers 18-12, Gavin Floyd 35-24
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jose Contreras 6-9, Mike Myers 2-0, Gavin Floyd 2-3
Batters Faced - Jose Contreras 27, Mike Myers 5, Gavin Floyd 8
Game Information
Attendance - 31739
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Adam Dowdy, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Chuck Meriwether, Third Base - Tim Timmons