Streaking Royals, reeking White Sox going in opposite directions
BY TONI GINNETTI For Sun-Times Media June 15, 2014 4:20PM
Updated: June 15, 2014 10:04PM
The Kansas City Royals are baseball’s hottest team. Their seven consecutive victories have put the rest of the American League Central on notice — including the White Sox.
‘‘They’re playing good baseball, and we’re scuffling a little, but that’s part of [baseball],’’ second baseman Gordon Beckham said.
The Sox had 12 hits Sunday but stranded 13 runners and hit only 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position in the 6-3 loss. They were 3-for-29 with runners in scoring position for the three-game series.
The loss was the fourth in a row for the faltering Sox, who fell to 33-37. The Royals improved to 36-32 and stayed within 1½ games of the division-leading Detroit Tigers.
The last-place Sox fell to 5½ games behind the Tigers
Another multi-run inning early for the Royals set the tone. They scored two in the first off Andre Rienzo (4-4) on Eric Hosmer’s home run. They added three more in the third after two outs when Rienzo hit Billy Butler, walked Alex Gordon, then gave up a homer to Salvador Perez.
The Sox got one run in the first after Adam Eaton led off with a triple and scored when starter James Shields (8-3) was called for a balk. That play led to the ejection of Royals manager Ned Yost, who argued the call.
The Sox scored two in the fourth when Adam Dunn and Alexei Ramirez singled and scored on Alejandro De Aza’s double.
‘‘It’s three games,’’ Dunn said. ‘‘Before these three games, people were talking all kinds of stuff [when the Sox took two of three from the Tigers]. You’re going to lose games, and you’re going to win games. We had a good series [against Detroit] and a bad one this time.
‘‘They pitched. They shut us down. That’s kind of the moral of this series — they pitched really good.’’
Paulie’s helping hands
Sunday was the eighth Foster Family Day at the ballpark for Paul Konerko’s ‘‘Bring Me Home Campaign,’’ a charity he began in 2007 with Jim Thome to help the Children’s Home + Aid society. The campaign brings attention to the needs of vulnerable children and families in Illinois.
‘‘We’ve done a little more every year,’’ Konerko said. ‘‘I feel we’ve helped, and it’s good when you see the results — helping human beings and not just raising money. You wish you could do it for all of them.’’
His family chose the charity because it was a cause familiar to them, especially wife Jennifer.
‘‘My wife’s family fostered children, and she has adopted siblings,’’ he said. ‘‘We knew the power of it, so we’re trying to spread the word.’’
Konerko’s involvement might change next season after he retires, but he remains committed to helping.
‘‘We’ll adjust,’’ he said. ‘‘Something like this, you don’t desert them.’’
By the numbers
The Sox matched their season-long losing streak of four and were swept for the second time in the last 10 days. They also lost three to the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim last weekend.