Royals 8, White Sox 3: the house of cards collapses

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To understand how this game eluded the White Sox, just look at how long it took the White Sox to establish a two-point lead, no matter how long.

It took Johnny Cueto and all his experience, including a trio of well-turned double plays behind him that helped limit the Royals to one in five passes. It took two attempts with the bases loaded and less than two outs to get on the scoreboard, and only because Michael Massey was devoured by Gavin Sheets’ hot two-hopper which nonetheless should have been a 4-end inning. 6-3 double play. It also took a bit of stupidity from Mike Matheny because he stayed with Kris Bubic’s batters too long, allowing Josh Harrison to score a third run at home in the sixth with two outs despite a hot right in the paddock.

Once the White Sox’s margin for error disappeared, the whole enterprise fell apart.

Yoán Moncada was the center of it. He made two errors late in the sixth inning. He opened the inning by twice squeezing on a Bobby Witt Jr. helicopter, and Witt beat him for a “field single”. Sal Perez doubled it at home to make it 3-2, but over the next three pitches Cueto blew Vinnie Pasquantino up the right and Hunter Dozier to hit a grounder on the third…

… except Moncada, who made a nifty little pick at his side, then spun and shot wide first, which put the runners into the corners with still only one out. Cueto rebounded again by putting out Nick Pratto, but he couldn’t register a fifth out in time, as Massey redeemed himself with a single to left of second base that tied the game at 3.

Jake Diekman then entered in the seventh and hooked a slider to MJ Melendez, who gave the Royals a lead with a solo shot to the right. A rare night off for Jimmy Lambert ended the game with a four-point eighth, but that fourth point of the seventh was probably enough given how the White Sox looked. Hell, they went 0 for 2 with their sack-like flies, one because José Abreu slid home even though Melendez forgot the number of outs left, and another because Yasmani Grandal was third.

The White Sox are now 8-7 over that 19-game streak against also rans, which is fine for a team game over .500 overall.

Fleas :

*The Royals took a 1-0 lead on a Witt RBI single in the second inning that fell just steps past Andrew Vaughn, which always makes you wonder if anyone else would have caught it.

*In eight rounds, the Royals had eight of the game’s 10 hardest-hit balls. Warning flies from Luis Robert and Lenyn Sosa in the top of the ninth gave the Sox some late entries.

Registration: 56-55 | The score of the box | Statcast

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