White Sox win over Royalty

By The Associated Press

CHICAGO – Ozzie Guillen had seen Mark Grudzielank beat his team enough this week.

The White Sox manager wasn’t about to let it happen again.

Chicago closer Bobby Jenks got Mike Sweeney to ground into a game-ending double play after intentionally walking Grudzielank to load the bases, and the White Sox increased their AL wild-card lead by holding off the Kansas City Royals 5-4 Thursday.

“Whatever. It worked,” said Mark Buehrle, who won for the first time since June 27. “Ozzie looks like a genius for doing it. Obviously Sweeney is one of their better hitters. But it set up a chance for a double play and that’s what happened.”

The Royals rallied in the ninth as David DeJesus hit an RBI double off Jenks that made it 5-4. A quick play by Chicago center fielder Brian Anderson to get to the ball in left center forced Angel Berroa to hold at third instead of scoring the tying run on the double.

“That was the play of the game when Brian cut the ball off,” Guillen said.

Grudzielank, who finished the series 8-for-17, was walked intentionally to load the bases.

“Grudzielanek I think is mad at me because I didn’t take him to the All-Star game. He has been killing us all year,” Guillen said. “I don’t think anybody in baseball, at least with the White Sox, will walk anybody to face Sweeney. Just looking for a double play ball or a strikeout.”

Sweeney hit a bouncer down the line to third baseman Joe Crede, who tagged the bag and threw to first to end it. The Royals grounded into four double plays.

“I wanted to be up in that position. Bobby made some great pitches,” Sweeney said. “I was excited because I thought I was going to win the game. They got me. … I would like to be in that position again. The next time we play them if they walk the bases loaded to face me, I like my chances.”

Chicago took a two-game lead in the wild card over Minnesota, which lost to Cleveland 3-2. The White Sox now start a road trip to Minnesota and AL Central-leading Detroit.

For the first time in major league history, both teams hit leadoff home runs in the first two innings, the Elias Sports Bureau said.

DeJesus hit Buehrle’s first pitch of the game for a homer. In the bottom of the first, Pablo Ozuna led off with a homer against Odalis Perez (0-1).

Emil Brown homered for Kansas City to start the second inning. Jermaine Dye homered to open the White Sox second.

Buehrle (10-10), who was 0-6 in his previous eight starts, allowed two runs and six hits over six innings. The win gave the White Sox a split of the four-game series with the last-place Royals.

“In the ninth you are wondering if they tie the game will it cost Buehrle the win,” said Paul Konerko. “You want to win, but you really wanted to get him that win.”

Jenks got four outs for his 34th save in 36 chances.

Chicago went up 3-2 in the third as Sandy Alomar Jr. doubled, Ozuna had a bunt single and Jim Thome delivered a run-scoring grounder for his 90th RBI. Chicago made it 4-2 in the sixth as Tadahito Iguchi walked, moved up on Thome’s grounder and scored on Konerko’s RBI single.

Mark Teahen homered off ex-Royal Mike MacDougal in the eighth to get the Royals within a run.

Perez, winless as a starter since April 21 when he was with the Dodgers, gave up five hits and four runs in seven innings. It was the third straight strong start for the Royals following winning efforts from Runelvys Hernandez and Adam Bernero.

“He’s actually throwing good since the day he got here,” Royals manager Buddy Bell said. “You can see he knows how to pitch.”

The Royals loaded the bases in the third, but Teahen hit into a double play.

Konerko added an RBI double in the eighth to make it 5-3, scoring pinch-runner Scott Podsednik from first.

Notes: Ozuna now has two major league homers, both this season. … Buehrle has allowed 27 home runs, seven more than all last season. … Buehrle is now 14-6 in his career against the Royals.