KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The last time the Chicago White Sox completed a three-game sweep of Kansas City was in April of their World Series title season in 2005.
But the Sox, 9 1/2 games behind Detroit in the American League Central, currently are fighting for survival. Manager Robin Ventura looks for a blend of more offense to support the starting pitching that has posted a 1.83 ERA against the Royals in eight games this season.
“You have to start somewhere,” Ventura said.
Despite holding a four-run lead and regaining the lead in the seventh, the Sox suffered arguably their most frustrating loss, a 7-6 setback at Kansas City.
Jesse Crain‘s streak of 29 consecutive scoreless innings and 29 consecutive scoreless appearances ended as the Royals took advantage of two errors to take the lead in the eighth.
After allowing two hits, Crain bobbled a bunt to load the bases. He retired the next two batters before walking Alex Gordon to force in a run.
Alcides Escobar hit a hard grounder off the glove of shortstop Alexei Ramirez for an error that scored the tying and go-ahead runs. The errors increased the Sox’s season total to 53, with Ramirez leading the way with 12 – equaling his total for 2012.
The Sox received a boost from Adam Dunn, who hit a two-run single and two-run home run in his first two at-bats. After Dylan Axelrod blew a four-run lead, Gordon Beckham came through with a two-run double in the seventh to give the Sox a 6-4 lead.
Axelrod allowed consecutive home runs to No. 8 and 9 hitters George Kottaras and Jarrod Dyson to start the fifth before Billy Butler hit a game-tying single to cap a thee-run rally.
Axelrod has allowed 20 hits in his past two starts covering 10 2/3 innings.
Dunn’s homer, his 20th of the season, moved him into a tie for 46th place on the all-time list with Billy Williams at