Published September 09, 2012
| Sports Network
Chicago, IL – Tyler Flowers hit a two-run home run to help the Chicago White Sox take a 5-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals in the second of three from U.S. Cellular Field.
Paul Konerko and Dayan Viciedo each hit a solo home run for the White Sox, who had dropped six of eight coming in.
Chris Sale (16-6) snapped a two-game slide as he gave up just one run on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts over six innings for Chicago, which holds a two-game lead over Detroit for the top spot in the AL Central as the Tigers lost to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Saturday.
"He was getting behind with a lot of guys early on and had to throw pitches over the plate," said Chicago manager Robin Ventura about Sale. "But as the game wore on he worked the plate better and was getting ahead of the batters."
Johnny Giavotella, Alcides Escobar, Billy Butler and Brayan Pena each drove in a run for the Royals, who have lost three of four. Bruce Chen (10-12) was tagged for all five runs on six hits over six innings in the loss.
"I felt pretty good out there today," said Chen. "My fastball was there, my offspeed stuff was there, but I just made a few mistakes and I paid for them."
Kansas City trailed by four runs in the eighth when the team got one back. Giavotella hit a ground-rule double and Lorenzo Cain followed with a single. Escobar then doubled to left and Giavotella scored easily, but Cain was nailed at home. Matt Thornton took over on the mound and struck out the next two batters.
In the ninth, Addison Reed came on to close the contest, but he didn't make it easy. He got the first two batters out, but Mike Moustakas kept the game alive with a double and Pena followed with an RBI single. Tony Abreu took Pena's spot on base and quickly took second. A Giavotella single made it a one-run game, but Cain struck out and Reed picked up his 26th save of the season.
The White Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first on Viciedo's two-out, solo shot over the right field wall, his 20th of the year.
Kansas City tied the game in the third as Cain singled with one out, moved to second on an Alcides Escobar walk and later scored thanks to Butler's single.
Chicago, though, took the advantage back in the bottom of the inning when Gordon Beckham led off with a double and scored two batters later courtesy of Alexei Ramirez's two-bagger to left.
In the fourth, the White Sox tacked on two more. With one out, A.J. Pierzynski got on base with an infield single and Flowers followed with his seventh homer of the year, a shot over the wall in left, for a 4-1 lead.
Konerko led off the sixth with his 22nd home run of the year.
Sale improved to 4-4 in 16 games (5 starts) against the Royals in his career ... Chen fell to 5-5 in 19 games (14 starts) versus the White Sox ... The loss snapped a six-game losing streak against Kansas City, but Chicago stills trails the season-series, 9-5.