Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Billy Butler drove in two runs and the Kansas City Royals held on for a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
Butler's RBI single in the fourth and sacrifice fly in the fifth helped the Royals win their second straight to begin this three-game series. Alex Gordon had two hits, including a clutch two-out double in the eighth. Salvador Perez plated Gordon with a double down the left-field line for the tiebreaking run.
"We have a real knack especially the last two years of scoring a lot of two- out runs with nothing going on. It shows and says that it's a team that doesn't quit," said Royals manager Ned Yost.
Royals starter Bruce Chen conceded just one unearned run on six hits to go with seven strikeouts across 6 1/3 innings. Wade Davis (1-1) picked up the win despite allowing two runs in the eighth, while Greg Holland struck out two batters in the ninth to earn his second save of the season.
Adam Eaton, Conor Gillaspie and Paul Konerko each knocked in a run for the White Sox. Starter John Danks allowed three runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts over seven innings, while Scott Downs (0-1) received the loss after being charged for the deciding run in the eighth inning.
Danks was cruising until he ran into trouble in the fourth. Omar Infante dropped a line drive in left for Kansas City's first hit of the afternoon. Eric Hosmer's single up the middle allowed Infante to take third and Butler's base hit to left brought in Infante to give the Royals a 1-0 lead.
The rally continued as Gordon singled on a soft fly ball to center. Hosmer rounded third, but was thrown out at home. Danks walked Perez to load the bases and then walked Mike Moustakas to put the Royals up 2-0.
"We would like to have a quicker inning right there and make them all earn their way on base, rather then me put them on base," said Danks about the fourth. "It was the first time out, I'm not going to beat myself up over it."
The White Sox got one back in the fifth. Alexei Ramirez singled and Adrian Nieto reached second on a fielding error by Moustakas at third. Eaton's groundout to second allowed Ramirez to cross the plate, making it a 2-1 game.
Norichika Aoki led off the fifth with a line-drive double to right. After Infante struck out and Hosmer walked, Butler's sac fly to center brought in Aoki to extend Kansas City's lead.
The White Sox tied the game in the eighth. With the bases loaded, Gillaspie's line drive to center dropped in for a single and scored Marcus Semien. Konerko knotted the game at three after his sac fly to right brought Jose Abreu home.
Kansas City went ahead for good in the bottom half of the frame. Butler took a one-out walk. Jarrod Dyson came in as a pinch-runner and was picked of for out number two. Gordon lofted a fly ball to center for a timely double and Perez brought him in with a grounder that went down the left-field line.
Holland came in to close the game in the ninth. He immediately walked Adam Dunn, but struck out Eaton and Semien before Abreu grounded out to end the game.
The White Sox went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base ... The Royals selected the contract of pitcher Aaron Brooks from Triple-A Omaha and designated infielder Pedro Ciriaco for assignment prior to the game ... The two clubs will conclude the series on Sunday.