Chicago at Kansas City

Sale shuts down Royals; White Sox avoid sweep wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chris Sale knew he had to pitch his best Sunday with James Shields starting for the Kansas City Royals.

"Indubitably, yes," Sale said. "You know what you're getting with a starter like James. You have to bear down and do it."

Sale gave up four singles in eight scoreless innings as the Chicago White Sox defeated the Royals 5-1 in a pitching duel between top starters.

Alexei Ramirez and Tyler Flowers each drove in a pair of runs as the White Sox won the series finale after dropping the first two games.

Sale (2-0) struck out six and walked one. In his previous four starts against the Royals, the White Sox had backed him with one run, enough to beat James Shields 1-0 in the 2012 opener.

"There was an energy to Chris coming off the mound," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Big pitchers do that when you face up against a guy like Shields. He knows we've lost three in a row and he's going up against Shields and he wanted to go out and shut them down."

Shields (0-1) took the loss in this one, too, giving up a run on five hits, striking out six, walking none and hitting two batters in seven innings.

"What we saw out there today was two No. 1 starters that were at the top of their game," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Both of them had their A-game on the mound. That's as good of stuff as I've seen James Shields have. He had everything working, his fastball at 94-95, a great cutter, a great change, a great curveball.

"Sale was right there with him. He has everything going. Both starters just pitched a great game, both of them."

Ramirez's drove in the game's first run in the seventh when Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar knocked down his grounder but had no play for Conor Gillaspie at home.

Sale allowed a runner past second only in the third inning, when Lorenzo Cain and Omar Infante singled and Ramirez committed a throwing error. Sale wiggled out of trouble by retiring Danny Valencia on a pop up. Cain had two of the hits off Sale.

The White Sox scored four runs in the ninth off Royals left-handed relievers Tim Collins and Francisley Bueno. The inning included a Flowers' two-run single and an RBI double by Ramirez.

Alex Gordon singled home Eric Hosmer in the ninth off Matt Lindstrom for the only Kansas City run.

The Royals won their first replay challenge of the season when Marcus Semien was ruled safe at first, but it was overturned on a review that took 68 seconds. White Sox manager Robin Ventura challenged that Hosmer was out at first to complete a double play in the sixth, but replays indicated he was safe.

Plate umpire Greg Gibson issued a warning to both benches in the sixth when Infante had to jump out of the way of Sale's pitch way inside after Shields had hit two batters, including Jose Abreu in the top of the inning.

"I'm not trying to hit Abreu right there, there's no doubt it," Shields said. "We've got a zero-zero ball game. I'm not trying to put a runner on base. There was definitely no intent. I understand they are trying to protect their players over there, but in that situation I'm not trying to hit him. I don't think there's any reason for any retaliation at all."


White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham, who is on the disabled list with a left oblique strain, has been shut down after one game from a minor league rehab assignment with Double-A Birmingham, still feeling tenderness when he swings.. The White Sox starting lineup Saturday included four Cuban-born players: C Adrian Nieto, RF Dayan Viciedo, SS Alexei Ramirez and Abreu. The last team to start four Cubans were the Indians on April 8, 1969 -- SS Zolio Versalles, RHP Luis Tiant, CF Jose Cardenal and C Joe Azcue. .The Royals will start LHP Jason Vargas against Tampa Bay on Monday, while the Rays' probable is LHP Matt Moore. .The White Sox will start RHP Felipe Paulino for the series opener at Colorado. RHP Jordan Lyles will be the Rockies starter.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Chicago (A.L.) White Sox
Adam Eaton, CF5010011 .269
Marcus Semien, 2B5010011 .143
Jose Abreu, 1B3000001 .261
Adam Dunn, DH4010022 .200
   Leury Garcia, PR-DH0100000 .375
Dayan Viciedo, LF3000110 .333
   Alejandro De Aza, PR-LF0100000 .211
Conor Gillaspie, 3B4120002 .429
Avisail Garcia, RF2100102 .150
Alexei Ramirez, SS4122002 .455
Tyler Flowers, C4012022 .500
Chris Sale, P0000000 .000
   Matt Lindstrom, P0000000 .000
2B - Conor Gillaspie 2 (3, Shields), Alexei Ramirez (2, Bueno)
RBI - Alexei Ramirez 2 (4), Tyler Flowers 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Alexei Ramirez (1)
SB - Leury Garcia (2, )
CS - Adam Eaton (1, 2nd base by Shields/Perez)
Team LOB - 6
DP - A. Ramirez-Semien-Abreu, A. Ramirez-Semien-Abreu-Gillaspie-Semien-Abreu
E - Conor Gillaspie (1, Throwing(White Sox challenge out call on the following play; play stands as call), Alexei Ramirez (1, Throwing)
Chicago (A.L.) White Sox
Chris Sale (W,2-0) 8400160 1.76
Matt Lindstrom 1311000 9.00
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Sale 111-75, Matt Lindstrom 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Sale 9-8, Matt Lindstrom 2-0
Batters Faced - Chris Sale 28, Matt Lindstrom 5
Kansas City Royals
Omar Infante, 2B4010001 .333
Danny Valencia, 3B4010002 .250
Eric Hosmer, 1B4100002 .278
Billy Butler, DH4010020 .250
   Jarrod Dyson, PR-DH0000000 .000
Alex Gordon, LF4011020 .263
Salvador Perez, C3000101 .438
Justin Maxwell, RF3000011 .000
Lorenzo Cain, CF3020010 .333
Alcides Escobar, SS3010002 .059
James Shields, P0000000 .000
   Kelvin Herrera, P0000000 .000
   Tim Collins, P0000000 .000
   Francisley Bueno, P0000000 .000
RBI - Alex Gordon (5)
CS - Eric Hosmer (1, 2nd base by Sale/Flowers)
Team LOB - 5
E - Salvador Perez (1, Throwing(De Aza replaces Viciedo on a 2-1 count.))
Kansas City Royals
James Shields (L,0-1) 7511060 2.70
Kelvin Herrera 1000010 0.00
Tim Collins 0.1133200 36.00
Francisley Bueno 0.2211000 9.00
HBP - Garcia (by James Shields)
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 102-65, Kelvin Herrera 18-13, Tim Collins 15-5, Francisley Bueno 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 10-4, Kelvin Herrera 1-1, Francisley Bueno 1-1
Batters Faced - James Shields 27, Kelvin Herrera 3, Tim Collins 4, Francisley Bueno 4
Game Information
Attendance - 29760
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 58
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Will Little, Third Base - Ted Barrett