CHICAGO | Perhaps, Royals manager Trey Hillman ought to go off on a rant that challenges general manager Dayton Moore to do something to shake up the club’s lethargic attack.
Or maybe that only works for Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen and the White Sox. Or maybe it only works for Guillen and the White Sox when they encounter the Royals.
All that’s certain is the White Sox roused themselves Tuesday, in their first game since Guillen’s rant, by pounding out four homers in a 9-5 drubbing of the Royals at U.S. Cellular Field.
Zack Greinke gave up all four homers in continuing his career-long South Side struggles. He is now 0-5 with a 6.62 ERA in seven career appearances at The Cell after allowing eight runs in six innings.
Greinke fell to 5-3 and saw his ERA jump from 2.88 to 3.56. He gave up a two-run homer to Carlos Quentin in the first inning, a two-run homer to A.J. Pierzynski in a four-run second and bases-empty shots to Nick Swisher and Alexei Ramirez in the sixth.
No Royals pitcher has allowed four homers in a game since Brian Anderson on Sept. 26, 2004. Guess what?
That was here, too.
That’s no surprise, is it? The White Sox always seem to play long ball against the Royals. The four homers gave them 197 in 132 games between the two teams since the start of the 2001 season.
The White Sox also hold, not coincidentally, an 86-46 advantage in that span. That includes a 49-18 edge in Chicago.
So maybe Guillen was stacking the deck Sunday when he berated his club for its offensive failings last weekend after losing three of four games at Tampa Bay. Guillen even called on general manager Kenny Williams to do something before Tuesday’s game against the Royals.
Nobody did anything, of course. Guillen didn’t even shake up his lineup for the Royals. He merely backtracked a little, before the game, by saying he didn’t mean to put Williams in a corner.
The White Sox then went out, pummeled Greinke and made things easy for starter Gavin Floyd. They built leads of 6-0 and 8-2 before the Royals closed the gap in the later innings.
Floyd, 6-3, allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings, although two runs were unearned. Ex-Royal Octavio Dotel gave up one run in the eighth before Bobby Jenks pitched a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation.
The White Sox, 31-26, ensured themselves of remaining atop the American League Central Division. The Royals fell 8½ games back at 23-35. They also suffered their ninth straight road loss, which matches sixth-worst total in franchise history.
The official club record is 12 consecutive road losses on two occasions — June 23-July 18, 1997 and April 6-25, 2006. The Royals also lost their final road game in 2005 prior to those 12 losses in 2006, but consecutive-game records, officially, must occur within the same season.
Either way, the current collection is mounting a genuine threat. The Royals play two more games at The Cell before heading to New York for a four-game weekend wraparound series.
The Royals are 5-33 at Yankee Stadium over the last 10 years.
Pierzynski and Ramirez each had three of Chicago’s 11 hits. The four homers matched a season high; the White Sox also hit four on May 18 in a 13-8 victory at San Francisco.
The Royals got eight hits, including two singles and a double from David DeJesus. Mark Teahen had a two-run homer, while Alex Gordon contributed an RBI single.
This one got away early.
Pierzynski bounced a one-out single through the right side in the first inning, and Quentin followed with a 15th homer of the season. This was a 349-foot blast on a 94-mph fastball that refused to hook foul down the right-field line.
Shortstop Tony Peña’s inability to handle a hard-hit grounder by Ramirez — a potential double-play ball — fueled the four-run second. The ball went off Peña’s foot and was scored a double.
Orlando Cabrera followed with a two-run single before Pierzynski hit a two-run homer for a 6-0 lead.