Kansas City, MO – Alex Rios hit the game-deciding solo home run in the seventh inning, as the Chicago White Sox clipped the Kansas City Royals, 3-2, in the opener of a three-game set.
Gordon Beckham's leadoff shot in the sixth tied the score and Alejandro De Aza began the contest with a solo blast for the White Sox, who have won five straight and maintained a three-game edge in the AL Central over Detroit, which topped Oakland earlier on Tuesday.
Gavin Floyd (10-10) worked seven innings, allowing five hits and a pair of runs. Addison Reed notched his 28th save by retiring the final two batters.
"The first inning didn't go exactly the way I wanted it to, but it is what it is," Floyd said of hia longest outing since July 7. "I just tried to keep on making pitches. It was a rough first (inning), especially after getting a run. You want to shut them down."
Billy Butler drove in both runs for the Royals, who have lost four of five. Luke Hochevar (8-14) was charged with seven hits and three runs over seven full frames.
Hochevar retired Paul Konerko on a groundout to begin the seventh, but Rios put the division leaders ahead when he cleared the wall in left for a 3-2 contest.
It seemed to rattle the KC starter, as he allowed back-to-back singles to A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez before working out of the jam by retiring DeWayne Wise on a fly to left and Beckham on a dribbler to the mound.
Matt Thornton worked through a scoreless eighth and fanned Alex Gordon to begin the ninth. Reed came in and completed the victory after a Butler grounder and Salvador Perez line out.
De Aza began the game with his eighth homer of the season, but the hosts responded in their turn as David Lough walked, Gordon doubled and Butler singled home both.
"He (Floyd) shut us down after that," said Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur. "With where they're at in the pennant race, you saw them warming up down there in the ninth. They're to the point where it's down to this (matching pitchers to each batter).
Kansas City still leads the season series 10-6, having won four of seven at home ... Rios' homer was his 24th, matching a career high ... Hochevar fell to 1-5 in his last nine starts ... Wednesday's scheduled Royals starter Luis Mendoza will be forced to miss his turn due to strep throat, causing Bruce Chen to be moved up a day, and making Jeremy Guthrie the starter for Thursday.