KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox were supposed to
be AL Central contenders and are 0-3.
The Kansas City Royals, who lost 100 games last season and then
slashed payroll, are 3-0. What gives? "A lot of people are surprised. Honestly, I'm not," said
Royals rookie Ken Harvey, whose go-ahead single off Billy Koch
keyed a seven-run eighth inning in Thursday's 12-6 win. "We have a lot of talent here," Harvey said. "People don't
want to give us credit for that." Kansas City, 3-0 for the first time since 1979, scored all its
runs with two outs. After Harvey's two-run single put Kansas City
on top 7-6, Brent Mayne hit Koch's next pitch for an
opposite-field, three-run homer. The White Sox, 0-3 for the first time since 1995, committed four
errors and wasted a great day by Jose Valentin, who had a pair of
two-run homers and a triple. "It was just a horrific game by us," Chicago manager Jerry
Manuel said. "That's one of the worst games I've seen us play in a
long time. It's not the fact we lost three games. It's how we lost
this one." The White Sox play their home opener Friday against winless
Detroit. "We have to forget about what happened in this series,"
Valentin said. "They outplayed us. It's not about whether we've
got hitting or pitching. It's about getting it done and we didn't
get it done in this series." The Royals' Mike Sweeney was 3-for-3 with a homer, three walks
and three RBI.
Chicago led 6-5 in the eighth when Tom Gordon (0-1) hit Joe
Randa with a pitch and Sweeney walked. Damaso Marte walked Desi
Relaford with two outs, loading the bases, and Koch relieved. He had 44 saves last year for Oakland, but couldn't convert his
first chance with Chicago, which acquired him during the offseason. Mayne tied a career-high with four hits and had four RBI. "I didn't hit the ball well until the last one," he said. "I
shanked the first three. I was lucky." Angel Berroa doubled and scored on third baseman Joe Crede's
second error of the game. Rick White forced in another run with the
bases loaded when Sweeney walked for the second time in the inning. Ryan Bukvich (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings of one-hit
relief. Valentin hit his first homer of the season in the fifth off
Miguel Asencio, then hit a two-run homer off Kris Wilson in the
sixth for a 6-5 lead. It was his 14th multihomer game. Chicago began the week after going 17-12 in the exhibition
season. "We didn't play this bad with kids in spring training," Manuel
said. "We've got to continue to do what we did in spring training
-- pay attention to detail, play defense, work."Game notes
Valentin's previous multihomer game was last Sept. 3 at
Toronto. ... The electronic scoreboard, which is running new
software, began to malfunction after Sweeney's RBI single in the
second and got stuck for two innings on no balls, no strikes and
one out. ... The White Sox' third error was the most embarrassing.
3B Joe Crede was charged with an error when he ran into C Miguel
Olivo as both were trying to catch Randa's pop foul. The ball
popped out of Crede's glove. ... Ibanez had hits in five straight
at-bats before flying out to deep center in the fifth. ... Esteban
Loaiza is to make his first start for the White Sox on Friday. ...
The Royals are off to their 3-0 start without much help from
leadoff hitter Michael Tucker, who's 1-for-13.