Welcome back, Royals.
A poor outing from starter Bruce Chen, a blown save by closer Jonathan Broxton, numerous failures to cash scoring opportunities in extra innings Friday night all funneled to a 9-8 loss to the Chicago White Sox in 14 innings at Kauffman Stadium.
Kevin Youkilis sacrifice fly produced the game-winner.
Thats a tough one to swallow, third baseman Mike Moustakas said. We battled back a couple of times but couldnt finish them off.
Chicago started the winning rally after Gordon Beckham worked a one-out walk against Everett Teaford, a starter who entered the game an inning earlier after the Royals burned through all seven of their relievers.
Beckham raced to third when Alejandro De Aza sliced a single past third.
Teaford battled Youkilis for 14 pitches and lost when Youkilis send a drive to deep center for a sacrifice fly. Beckham scored without a throw.
He fouled off the kitchen sink, Teaford said. Id battled him for so long that I was going to throw a strike. I didnt want to walk another guy.
Dylan Axelrod, 1-2, got the victory by setting down Royals in their 14th. Teaford, 1-3, was the loser. The game took 5 hours, 23 minutes. Both teams used nine pitchers.
Im glad we had an All-Star break, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. Both teams leaving 15 players or whatever on (base), its just crazy. But guys were ready and kept battling, so its a nice win.
Chicago left 15, but the Royals left just 13. The White Sox were three for 15 with runners in scoring position; the Royals were five for 18.
Here are the grimmer numbers: The Royals lost for ninth time in 11 games, dropped to 37-48 and a season-worst 10½ games behind first-place Chicago. Eleven games under .500 matches a season-worst; they concluded their 12-game April skid at 3-14.
Teaford had a narrow escape in the 13th after yielding a leadoff single to Orlando Hudson before striking out Paul Konerko and Alex Rios.
A.J. Pierzynskis drive over the head of right fielder Jeff Francoeur hopped the wall for a rulebook double. That forced Hudson, who would have scored easily, to stop at third.
Jordan Danks ended the inning with a fly to center.
It merely delayed the loss.
Chicago took an 8-7 lead in the 12th inning after Dayan Viciedo drew a one-out walk against Tim Collins. Danks entered as a pinch-runner and moved to second on a two-out wild pitch, which proved pivotal when Beckham sliced a double to right that fell just fair.
There were so many times, Beckham said, I thought that game was over in my mind.
Not this time. The Royals answered later in the inning against White Sox closer Addison Reed. Francoeur led off with a double and went to third on Lorenzo Cains one-out single before scoring on Alex Gordons slow grounder to second.
It could have ended a lot sooner and, for most in the crowd of 32,744, a lot happier.
Jonathan Broxton inherited a 7-6 lead to start the ninth but quickly found trouble by allowing a single to Youkilis and a four-pitch walk to Adam Dunn, who was replaced by Hudson as a pinch-runner.
Another four-pitch walk, to Konerko, loaded the bases with no outs. Youkilis held third on Rios fly to short center field, but Pierzynski pulled a single through the right side.
Youkilis scored easily, but Francoeur threw out Hudson at the plate when catcher Salvy Perez pulled back an off-line throw with a diving tag. Viciedo ended the inning with a grounder to second.
I walked two dudes on eight pitches, said Broxton, who suffered his fourth blown save in 25 chances. You cant do that and expect to have success. I wasnt very good tonight.
The Royals had a chance to win it in their ninth after Billy Butler led off with an infield single you read that right, an infield single. It was a squibber that stopped one-third of the way up the third-base line.
Reliever Leyson Septimo threw wildly to first, which allowed Butler to take second. In came pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson, who nearly got doubled off second on Yuniesky Betancourts fly to center.
Septimo then picked off Dyson before sending the game to extra inning by striking out Moustakas.
The Royals had another chance in the 10th after Perez pulled a one-out single between short and third against Jhan Marinez. Jason Bourgeois replaced Perez and took off on a 1-2 pitch to Cain, who hit a liner up the middle.
Bad luck. Bourgeois attempted steal moved Beckham into position to catch the liner and turn it into a double play.
The Royals loaded the bases with one out in the 11th, but Marinez retired Betancourt on a first-pitch pop to short. That prompted a pitching change to lefty Hector Santiago to face Moustakas, who grounded out to short.
We had chances every inning, Francoeur said.
Chicagos tying run in the ninth came after the Royals took the lead on Alcides Escobars two-run triple in the eighth inning. It plugged the right-center gap and capped a two-out burst against reliever Nate Jones.
The late-game twists, including that blown save and numerous blown scoring opportunities, came after Chen surrendered six runs for a third straight start and the seventh time overall in 19 starts.
Chen put the Royals in a quick three-run hole by coughing up homers in the first inning to Dunn and Rios. And then, after the Royals fought their way to a 5-3 lead through four innings, served up a three-run bomb in the fifth to Viciedo.
Manager Ned Yost admitted Chen shouldnt have faced Viciedo with two outs and runners at first and second. Chen had thrown 108 pitches to that point.
Thats absolutely my fault, Yost said. Sometimes, you manage more with your heart than you do your head. Youre trying to get him through the fifth inning so he can qualify for the win.
Any other situation if it was the fourth, I would have taken him out. If it was the sixth, I would have taken him out. It was my responsibility to take him out there, but my heart overruled my head.
Viciedo deposited a 1-0 off-speed pitch over the center-field wall for a 6-5 lead.
None of this is new.
The Royals closed their pre-break schedule with their rotation sporting a 5.16 ERA that ranked ahead of only Minnesota among American League teams. The Royals 436 innings from their starters were the fewest in the league.
Chicago starter José Quintana entered the game with a 2.04 ERA but labored through 108 pitches in five innings. He gave up five runs and eight hits, which raised his ERA to 2.60, but handed a 6-5 lead to the bullpen in the sixth.