Chicago, IL – Gordon Beckham belted the tie-breaking solo homer in the eighth inning to boost the Chicago White Sox to a 4-2 win over the Kansas City Royals.
Kevin Youkilis added an RBI double in the eighth and Addison Reed worked out of a jam in the ninth to secure his 20th save of the year.
Paul Konerko also homered for the AL Central leaders, winners in four of their last five contests overall and 13 of 15 at home.
Chris Sale (13-3), working on extra rest, continued his success at home by fanning seven over eight strong innings. The 23-year-old left-hander is 5-0 with a 0.95 ERA over his last six starts at U.S. Cellular Field.
Luis Mendoza (5-8) gave up seven hits and four runs over 7 1/3 innings as the Royals lost their sixth in a row on the road.
Sale was making his first start since July 27 at Texas. The rookie scattered eight hits, two of which were homers by Jeff Francoeur and Billy Butler.
"He battles, he gets through it, he's sharp," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Sale. "He's athletic."
Sale also made a nice defensive play to prevent the Royals from going ahead in the eighth. Tony Abreu doubled and Chris Getz singled to start the inning. Shortstop Alexei Ramirez then made a diving grab on Alex Gordon's soft liner.
With one out, Alcides Escobar tried a squeeze bunt, but the ball went toward third and was grabbed by Sale. His momentum carried Sale right into Abreu, who was tagged out. Sale then fanned Lorenzo Cain to leave two runners on base.
"Sale made a nice play, but it wasn't a good bunt," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "That's a situation that's tailor-made for him (Escobar)."
With one out in the bottom half, Beckham drove a first-pitch slider over the wall in left. Jordan Danks walked and Youkilis followed with a double to the right-field gap, ending Mendoza's night.
With one out in the ninth, Salvador Perez reached base on Ramirez's fielding error. Francoeur singled, but Eric Hosmer grounded into a double play to end the opener of this three-game set.
Alex Rios tripled in the second and A.J. Pierzynski, who had matched a franchise record by homering in his five previous games, grounded a double inside the right field line to give Chicago an early edge.
Francoeur lined a ball over the wall in right in the fifth, and the Royals went ahead in the seventh on Butler's leadoff blast to left.
Konerko lined a 3-1 pitch just over the wall in left to start the seventh.
Butler tied his career-high with his 21st homer...The Royals have lost 15 of their last 18 road games...Chicago pitchers have limited opponents to a .151 average with runners in scoring position over the last 13 games.