White Sox drop series to Royals

By The Associated Press

CHICAGO – Jose Guillen’s right arm saved the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

Guillen charged an eighth-inning single and threw a strike to catcher Miguel Olivo to nail A.J. Pierzynski at the plate, helping the Royals preserve a lead in an 8-7 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Royals rookie shortstop Mike Aviles has seen Guillen throw before, but didn’t think he even had a chance to stop Pierzynski from scoring on Brian Anderson’s single to left.

“Everybody in the whole entire league knows that he has a cannon for an arm,” Aviles said. “When the ball got hit, I was running toward the hole, and I thought for sure he was going to score. He came in charging hard and made a great throw home. That was a big momentum swing.”

Pierzynski saw third base coach Jeff Cox waving him home.

“I know Guillen has one of the best arms in baseball. My job is to run until somebody stops me. Cox was waving me and he threw a perfect throw.”

Esteban German hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the eighth inning for Kansas City. German was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Aviles had three hits for the Royals, who have won five of their last seven games.

Joakim Soria got three outs for his 26th save in 28 opportunities and Ramon Ramirez (1-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win.

Jim Thome doubled in the seventh inning for his 2,000th career hit and Joe Crede hit a three-run homer for the White Sox, who have lost five times in seven games. Nick Swisher also hit a two-run homer for the White Sox.

With the Twins losing to Texas, the White Sox held on to a half-game lead in the AL Central.

“We played terrible,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Kansas City showed up to kick our butts and they did.”

Trailing 6-5, Thome led off the seventh inning with a double off Ramirez. One out later, Swisher hit his 13th home run of the season to put the White Sox up 7-6.

But the White Sox bullpen couldn’t hold the lead in the eighth.

Trailing 7-6 with one out in the eighth inning, White Sox reliever Octavio Dotel hit pinch-hitter Jose Guillen on the hand. With two outs, White Sox reliever Matt Thornton (4-2) walked Ross Gload and German followed with a double down the left-field line to give the Royals the lead for good.