CHICAGO | A rain delay. A couple of blown leads. A wasted comeback. And a late-inning loss _ on a two-out hit, naturally.
Yep, it was one miserable Monday night for the Royals at U.S. Cellular Field.
Scott Podsednik’s looping single in the eighth inning against John Bale lifted the Chicago White Sox to an 8-7 victory.
Mike Jacobs’ three-run pinch homer had just erased a three-run deficit when reliever Roman Colon opened the Chicago eighth inning by walking Alex Rios, who moved to second on Alexei Ramirez’s sacrifice bunt.
When Mark Kotsay batted for Jayson Nix, the Royals countered by summoning Bale for a lefty-lefty matchup. Bale struck out Kotsay but couldn’t handle Podsednik, also a left-handed hitter.
The Royals might have had a play at the plate if center fielder Josh Anderson had handled the ball cleanly. He didn’t, and Rios scored easily.
Bobby Jenks protected the one-run lead by blowing through the Royals in the ninth inning for his 25th save in 29 opportunities. Scott Linebrink, 3-5, got an undeserved victory after blowing a three-run lead in the eighth.
Colon, 1-3 was the loser.
The Royals built leads of 3-0 and 4-3 for Brian Bannister, who gave it all back and more in a third straight disappointing start.
Bannister allowed seven runs and 10 hits in seven innings but escaped with a no-decision when Jacobs cranked a 391-foot drive in the eighth inning after Linebrink issued two-out walks to Mark Teahen and Mitch Maier.
That homer snatched a victory from Chicago starter Mark Buehrle, who wasn’t particularly sharp in permitting four runs and nine hits in six innings. Matt Thorntom worked a scoreless seventh before Linebrink stumbled.
The game started 58 minutes late, at 8:09 p.m., because of rain, which resumed in the later innings. Oh, it was miserable.
The loss dropped the Royals back to 26 games under .500 at 46-72.
The Royals opened the scoring on successive two-out doubles in the second inning by Teahen and Maier. Teahen barely beat the throw by right fielder Jermaine Dye at second before Maier sent a flare into short left along the left-field line.
The lead jumped to 3-0 when Yuniesky Betancourt pumped a 372-foot homer over the left-field wall.
Bannister gave two runs right back on Nix’s two-out homer later in the inning.
The Royals had chances to rebuild their lead in the third and fourth innings but each time grounded into double plays. The latter really stung. The bases were loaded when Anderson hit a weak hopper to the mound.
Those wasted opportunities enabled the White Sox to pull even on Podsednik’s two-out RBI double in the fourth. Anderson appeared to have a chance to cut the ball off in right center _ which might have kept Ramirez from scoring from first.
The Royals regained the lead in the fifth after a leadoff double by Willie Bloomquist, who went to third on Brayan Peña’s grounder to the right side. Billy Butler followed with an RBI single for a 4-3 lead before Miguel Olivo made it three straight inning-ending double plays.
That lead lasted until the Chicago sixth.
Bannister started the inning by hitting Carlos Quentin, who scored the tying run when Teahen misplayed Rios’ double to right-center field. Quentin scored on the error _ no RBI _ and Rios took third.
That extra base turned into an unearned run when Rios scored on Ramirez’s deep sacrifice fly to left field for a 5-4 lead.
It got worse before it got better.
Chicago still led 5-4 in the seventh with a runner at first when Bannister, after a visit by pitching coach Bob McClure, surrendered a two-run homer to A.J. Pierzynski that sailed 411 feet and over the wall in right-center field.