Chicago, IL – Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Paul Konerko's two-run homer in the fifth helped the Chicago White Sox erase an early five-run deficit and defeat the Kansas City Royals, 7-6, in the opener of a three-game set.
Alexei Ramirez had a three-run homer and four RBI and Dayan Viciedo added a solo shot for Chicago, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
Zach Putnam (2-0) earned the win in relief and Jake Petricka recorded the final two outs in the ninth to nail down his first career save.
Royals starter Jason Vargas (4-2) yielded seven runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings in the loss.
Eric Hosmer finished with three RBI and Lorenzo Cain knocked in two runs for the Royals, who had won two straight entering the contest.
Kansas City jumped out of the gate with a five-run first inning, but Chicago hung around thanks to the long ball.
Adam Eaton grounded into a bunt force out after Marcus Semien led off the third with a single to center. Gordon Beckham walked and Ramirez plated the pair with a blast to left that cut the deficit to 5-3.
Viciedo cut the deficit in half with a solo shot to left to lead off the fourth.
Hosmer got the run back in the home half of the fourth with an RBI single to right that plated Alcides Escobar.
Chicago, however, completed the comeback with a three-run fifth to take the lead for good.
Ramirez drove in Eaton with a groundout to first, then Adam Dunn walked and Konerko hammered his second homer of the season into center to give the White Sox a 7-6 edge.
"I don't get too mad about a lot of things, but you know, coughing it up halfway through the fifth inning is not good enough to get it done," said Vargas. "I coughed it up for us tonight."
Ronald Belisario pitched two scoreless innings in relief to set up Matt Lindstrom for the save. Lindstrom, however, allowed a leadoff single to Nori Aoki and committed an error on Escobar's sacrifice bunt.
Lindstrom appeared to injure his left leg on the play and Scott Downs relieved the closer with two men on and none out. The left-handed specialist Downs struck out Hosmer and White Sox manager Robin Ventura chose to use Petricka for the final two outs of the game.
Petricka picked off pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson and then induced a groundout from Billy Butler to end the game.
Earlier, Aoki singled up the middle and Escobar followed with a bloop single up the middle that Beckham allowed to drop right through his legs and bounce into center.
The official scorer ruled the play a hit, then Hosmer drove Aoki and Escobar in with a double off the base of the right-field wall.
"When you get out there in the first inning you just try to get settled," said Ventura. "The Hosmer ball was hit hard but everything else was a groundball that found its way in there."
Butler laced a single to center that scored Hosmer to give the Royals a 3-0 advantage.
After a walk from Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez flied out to center for the first out of the frame which allowed Butler and Gordon to move up a base.
Cain proceeded to knock a single up the middle to plate the two and the Royals took a commanding 5-0 advantage after an inning of play.
All nine White Sox starters recorded a hit ... Chicago starter Scott Carroll was roughed up for six runs on nine hits in four innings ... Gordon's run in the first was the 500th of his career. No. 501 will tie David DeJesus for 10th in Royals history ... KC was 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position, while Chicago was 1-for-8.