The Chicago White Sox kicked off their series in Kansas City with a powerful 9-1 win.
Coming off the heels of a sweep at the hands of the Twins, the White Sox (30-41) were able to roll over Royals’ starter Jeremy Guthrie as they established an early lead. Guthrie walked three of the first five Sox hitters. Paul Konerko patiently drew a walk to bring a run home and Conor Gillaspie’s sacrifice fly made the score 2-0.
This initial sequence of events came as a surprise since Guthrie has been nothing short of dominant against the White Sox. Prior to this matchup, the Sox have only managed two runs in 44 2/3 innings against Guthrie. Luckily, he was clearly not his usual self. His lack of control forced his departure during the third inning.
It was in the third inning that the Sox tied their season high with five runs. Adam Dunn and Alex Rios each had no-out RBIs as the Sox pounded Guthrie in successive at-bats. After Guthrie’s departure, Dayan Viciedo immediately extended the lead when he drove a ball into the seats for a three-run bomb. Though struggling this year, Viciedo reminded everyone he still has the power to produce the long ball as he drove in his 22nd RBI.
While the Sox bats did steal the show (mostly because they’re usually so quiet), Hector Santiago complemented them with a show of his own. Over eight innings, the Royals managed just three hits and one walk against him. The home run by Eric Hosmer in the sixth snapped his 16 1/3 innings scoreless streak against the Royals.
The run support for Santiago definitely came as a relief. This win brought his record to only 3-5 despite the fact that he has not let up more than three runs in his last six starts. On Friday, Santiago was at his best as he shut down the Royals and moved his ERA to 3.03. This continues to prove that he can transition easily out of the bullpen and even push late into games.
The solid pitching performance is also a breath of fresh air after the Sox let up 22 runs to the Twins over three games. There isn’t a lot of positives to talk about when a team routinely loses three games in a row. If the Sox bats can stay hot tomorrow, they may be able to string together some series wins before the All-Star Break.