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Kansas City at Chicago

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Kansas City (48-50)000100000181
Chicago (48-52) «20000100x360

Sale improves to 9-1, White Sox extend Royals' woes

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- About the only pitch that Chris Sale wouldn't make Monday night was his case for the American League's Cy Young Award.

Then again, if he keeps pitching like he has so far this season, he won't have to say much.

Sale pitched seven effective innings in his first outing since the All-Star break and Adam Dunn had two RBI and scored a run to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 3-1 victory against the slumping Kansas City Royals on Monday night.

Sale (9-1) wasn't at his best, allowing seven hits and a walk in seven innings, but he worked out of jams in the fourth and sixth innings. He struck out eight and now has allowed three runs or fewer in 14 of his 15 starts this season.

Those certainly appear to be Cy Young-worthy numbers, right?

"Like I've always said, I don't pay too much attention to that," Sale said. "I have a job to do and I have to focus on doing that and playing games. We're right in the hunt right now, so these are the dog days and you have to bear down now. Now's not the time to be thinking about yourself or some trophy or whatever."

Chicago manager Robin Ventura, though, didn't hesitate to respond when asked if Sale was a legitimate candidate for the award despite missing a month earlier in the season.

"Oh, yeah, absolutely," Ventura said. "There's no reason why he shouldn't be in the discussion. I don't care if he missed a month or not. He's good."

Dunn went 1 for 2 with a pair of walks as the White Sox for the third time in four games since the break.

Danny Valencia went 1 for 2 with a RBI for Kansas City, which has dropped four straight and seven of eight. The Royals had a team meeting before the game, but couldn't turn around their fortunes as they dropped two games below .500 (48-50).

Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie (5-9) gave up three runs on five hits in six innings to get the loss. He had been 4-0 against the White Sox with the Royals before Monday.

"I thought Guthrie threw the ball all right," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "The first inning they had some well-placed groundballs. He was a little off command-wise in the first inning. Ended up hitting two guys by mistake but still kind of limited the damage there."

The White Sox took a 2-0 lead in the first inning as the first four batters reached base and then Dunn singled up the middle against the shift -- essentially hitting the ball to the normal shortstop position -- to score both Adam Eaton and Alexei Ramirez.

The Royals trimmed the lead in half in the fourth. Alex Gordon singled with one out, stole second and then scored on a two-out single by Valencia. The next batter, Alcides Escobar, doubled down the left-field line, but Valencia was nailed at the plate as left-fielder Alejandro De Aza and Ramirez got the ball to catcher Tyler Flowers for the putout to end the inning.

"That's huge," Sale said of the play at the plate. "That's a game-changer, a game saver, just gives us momentum. It was awesome."

The White Sox regained the two-run edge in the sixth as Dunn scored on a sacrifice fly by Gordon Beckham to make it 3-1.

That was plenty of a cushion for Sale, who has allowed a total of three runs in 23 2/3 innings in his past three starts.

Ronald Belisario pitched the eighth and Jake Petricka worked the ninth for his fourth save.

"I think I'm just trying to get better day in and day out," Sale said.

Notes

Royals 1B Eric Hosmer was scratched about an hour before game time with a right hand contusion. He was hit on the hand with a pitch by Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester in Sunday's game at Fenway Park. ... White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper is suffering from vertigo and missed a second successive game on Monday. Bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen took his place. ... K.C.'s Salvador Perez was back in the lineup after sitting out Sunday with a groin strain. He originally was going to catch but switched to DH when Hosmer was scratched. "He feels much better," manager Ned Yost said. "He's not a speed demon to begin with. It's still probably going to affect him a little bit running, but he can catch and swing and do everything else." ... Abreu doubled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. ... LHP Bruce Chen (1-2) takes on Scott Carroll (4-5) in the second game of the series.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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For the ninth time in 15 starts this season, Chris Sale allows fewer than two runs.  (USATSI)
For the ninth time in 15 starts this season, Chris Sale allows fewer than two runs. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Chicago

C. Sale
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 1
K 8
Chicago

A. Dunn
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGSLGOBP
Lorenzo Cain, RF4010020.297.414.333
Omar Infante, 2B4000002.275.384.313
Salvador Perez, DH4010010.282.430.326
Alex Gordon, LF4120011.271.422.352
Billy Butler, 1B3000112.267.346.319
Danny Valencia, 3B2011012.295.400.342
   Mike Moustakas, 3B1010000.190.363.255
Alcides Escobar, SS4010015.280.384.316
Brett Hayes, C3010010.125.208.143
Jarrod Dyson, CF3000011.288.346.345
Jeremy Guthrie, P0000000.000.000.000
   Aaron Crow, P0000000.000.000.000
   Scott Downs, P0000000.000.000.000
   Jason Frasor, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals3218119    
Batting
2B - Lorenzo Cain (17, Sale), Alcides Escobar (26, Sale)
RBI - Danny Valencia (11)
2-OUT RBI - Danny Valencia (3)
SB - Alex Gordon (7, 2nd base off Sale/Flowers)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Escobar-Infante-Butler, Escobar-Infante-Butler-Escobar-Butler, Escobar-Infante-Butler-Escobar-Butler-Escobar-Infante-Butler
E - Danny Valencia (2, Misplayed grounder)
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeremy Guthrie (L,5-9) 6533350 4.56
Aaron Crow 1100200 2.61
Scott Downs 0.2000000 5.83
Jason Frasor 0.1000000 3.26
IBB - Dunn by Aaron Crow
HBP - A. Ramirez (by Jeremy Guthrie)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Guthrie 101-54, Aaron Crow 18-8, Scott Downs 4-4, Jason Frasor 2-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Guthrie 7-5, Aaron Crow 2-0, Scott Downs 1-1
Batters Faced - Jeremy Guthrie 27, Aaron Crow 5, Scott Downs 2, Jason Frasor 1
Chicago (A.L.) White Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGSLGOBP
Adam Eaton, CF3120100.284.387.355
Alexei Ramirez, SS3100012.277.393.314
Jose Abreu, 1B4010012.292.619.341
Adam Dunn, DH2112200.223.432.362
Dayan Viciedo, RF4000004.239.404.290
   Moises Sierra, RF0000000.210.294.234
Conor Gillaspie, 3B3010010.322.473.373
Alejandro De Aza, LF2000202.237.364.310
Gordon Beckham, 2B3001001.230.365.280
Tyler Flowers, C3010022.230.325.288
Chris Sale, P0000000.000.000.000
   Ronald Belisario, P0000000.000.000.000
   Jake Petricka, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals2736355    
Batting
2B - Jose Abreu (22, Crow), Tyler Flowers (10, Guthrie)
SF - Gordon Beckham (3)
RBI - Adam Dunn 2 (39), Gordon Beckham (29)
SB - Adam Eaton (10, 2nd base off Guthrie/Hayes)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Alejandro De Aza 1
DP - A. Ramirez-Abreu, A. Ramirez-Abreu-Petricka-A. Ramirez-Abreu
Chicago (A.L.) White Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Sale (W,9-1) 7711180 2.03
Ronald Belisario (H,10) 1000000 4.74
Jake Petricka (S,4) 1100010 2.10
WP - Chris Sale (3)
HBP - Valencia (by Chris Sale)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Sale 106-68, Ronald Belisario 11-8, Jake Petricka 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Sale 6-5, Ronald Belisario 2-1, Jake Petricka 1-0
Batters Faced - Chris Sale 28, Ronald Belisario 3, Jake Petricka 3
Game Information
Attendance - 18888
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Mark Wegner, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski