(Tuesday, August 7th)
Final Score: Kansas City 5, Chicago 2
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - It all started with a Jeff Francoeur bunt.
Francoeur started a seventh-inning rally that snowballed into four unanswered runs after Billy Butler's career-best 22nd home run in the eighth, as Kansas City downed the Chicago White Sox, 5-2, in the middle installment of a three- game set at U.S. Cellular Field.
Butler was 2-for-4 with a long two-run shot that punctuated a late offensive onslaught for the Royals, who have won two of three. The Royals managed just one run and two hits through six frames before registering four consecutive singles in the go-ahead seventh.
"The last couple of days we have played with a renewed energy, a renewed vision and I am pleased with where we're at right now," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Bruce Chen (8-9) won for the first time since June 26, scattering just two runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk in 6 2/3 frames. Greg Holland pitched a clean ninth frame for his second save.
Jake Peavy (9-8) was the hard-luck loser, cruising before falling into trouble in the seventh. The right-hander gave up three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and three walks over 6 2/3 frames. Alex Rios finished 2-for-4 and Gordon Beckham hit his 11th home run of the season in defeat.
"He deserved better," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said about Peavy. "Chen just kept us off balance. I think we had chances, but he just found a way to get out of it."
The White Sox wasted no time reaching the scoreboard with Beckham jumping on a high fastball and driving it into the left-center field seats in the first.
There was no scoring again until the sixth when Alex Gordon took it upon himself to create a scoring opportunity. He singled to left, swiped his sixth base of the season and motored to third on Chris Getz's groundout before Mike Moustakas drove him home with a sacrifice fly to right.
Beckham was at the center of the action again in the home half, walking and moving to second on a wild pitch before advancing to third on a groundout. Both teams played successful small ball as Adam Dunn's base hit plated Beckham for a 2-1 edge.
The game then fell apart for the White Sox in the late innings. Francoeur led off the seventh with a bunt single and moved to third on Eric Hosmer's one-out single. Tony Abreu's base hit plated Francoeur, but Hosmer was thrown out at third by Dayan Viciedo. Jarrod Dyson followed with a single that would have scored Hosmer, but the Royals were unfazed, as Gordon plated Abreu with a soft single that fell into center field.
Holding a 3-2 lead, the Royals tacked on in the eighth. Moustakas walked in front of Butler's smash, a long drive that climbed over the wall in dead center field for a three-run advantage.
Chen improved to 4-4 lifetime against the White Sox...Peavy dropped to 4-6 lifetime against the Royals...Rios hit his 27th double of the season and stole his 16th base...White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis missed the game with a sore right knee. Ray Olmedo started in his place and finished 1-for-3.
08/08 01:32:38 ET