Sale, White Sox lose 4-1 to Royals

Written by Muleskinner Staff


(CHICAGO, AP) — Chris Sale’s fastball was all over the place, and that is a big problem when the Kansas City Royals are in town.
Sale allowed a season-high 11 hits, including homers by Lorenzo Cain and Paulo Orlando, and the White Sox lost 4-1 to Danny Duffy and the Royals on Sunday.
“This is not a good team to leave fastballs over the plate to,” Sale said. “They take advantage of every opportunity you give them and that’s what happens.”
Sale (8-5) gave up four runs, struck out six and walked one in 6 1/3 innings in his first game since July 11. The All-Star left-hander had won each of his last two starts.
“Probably not his best fastball command today,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He still has good stuff but it just wasn’t good enough today.”
Chicago (42-48) lost for the fourth time in five games, making it more likely that general manager Rick Hahn will look to sell ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The White Sox are last in the Central, with major league-leading St. Louis coming to town for a two-game set beginning on Tuesday night.
“We’re going to play on Tuesday,” Ventura said of possible changes. “I know everybody wants to talk about it but we’re going to play as hard as we can against St. Louis.”
Duffy (4-4) was replaced by Joe Blanton after Tyler Saladino led off the ninth with his first career homer. The lefty allowed six hits, struck out four and walked one while improving to 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA in three starts this month.
“I’m finally starting to learn that when you have the best defense in the league behind you, all you’ve got to do is execute,” Duffy said.
Blanton got three outs for his first career save in his 278th major league game.
Helped by its stellar defense — shortstop Alcides Escobar, second baseman Omar Infante and first baseman Eric Hosmer each made a couple of solid plays in the series finale — Kansas City (55-35) moved a season-high 20 games above .500.
“I was sitting there at the end of the game trying to decide which was more impressive, Danny’s outing or our defense today,” Yost said. “It’s a tough call.”
Sale allowed five hits in the first three innings, but Hosmer’s RBI single in the first accounted for Kansas City’s only run before Cain hit a leadoff drive in the sixth for his 10th homer. Alex Rios reached on a one-out single in the seventh before Orlando connected for his fourth homer.
Saladino, who turns 26 on Monday, was promoted on July 10 and is batting .308 (8 for 26) over his first seven major league games.
“The home run’s nice, especially the first one, but at the end of the day, if we don’t win, that’s all that matters,” he said. “The home run is just a moment. The win, at the end of the day, we didn’t get it, so come back Tuesday.”
Royals: RHP Kris Medlen will come off the disabled list on Monday, taking another step in his comeback from his second major elbow surgery. Medlen, who last pitched in the majors in 2013 with Atlanta, will join Kansas City’s bullpen for the start of a three-game series against Pittsburgh. “He’s going to be a long guy, but these things always seem to work themselves out, so I envision him long term being a starter,” Yost said.
White Sox: Reliever Matt Albers was activated from the 15-day disabled list and pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He broke his right pinkie finger during a brawl with the Royals on April 23. INF Conor Gillaspie was designated for assignment to make room on the roster.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura (4-6, 4.73 ERA) makes his second start since coming off the disabled list when the Royals host Pittsburgh on Monday night. RHP A.J. Burnett (7-3, 2.11 ERA) goes for the Pirates.
White Sox: Following an off day, the White Sox host St. Louis on Tuesday night, with LHP Carlos Rodon (3-2, 3.80 ERA) starting against the Cardinals.
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