KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Kansas City manager Buddy Bell knew it
had been a long time since the Royals came back from a deficit
entering the ninth inning.
"I knew it was over 100 games," Bell said. "We'd get close,
but not over the hump." The Royals rallied with three runs in the ninth to defeat the
Chicago White Sox 10-9 Wednesday night, snapping a franchise-record
104-game losing streak in which they trailed after eight innings.
The last time they won with a deficit entering the ninth was Aug.
31, 2004, against Detroit. "It is nice to break that streak," said Mark Teahen, who
scored the winning run. "I'm definitely enjoying it." Angel Berroa's double drove in the tying run, and Jermaine Dye's
fielding error allowed Teahen to score the winner. Chicago lost for
just the fourth time in 17 games against Kansas City this season,
and had its AL Central lead cut to five games over the Cleveland
Indians -- the smallest lead for the White Sox since before play on
June 16. "The grass is a little wet," Dye said of his error. "I was
trying to cut the ball off and give us a chance to hold the
runners." White Sox closer Dustin Hermanson (1-4) blew his fourth save in
38 chances. "I made some mistakes and paid for it," he said. Hermanson, who has been bothered by a sore lower back, did not
pitch on Tuesday as manager Ozzie Guillen opted to leave Bobby
Jenks in for a two-inning save. "Obviously, every time we have a lead in the ninth inning I
want to be in there," Hermanson said. "I think they are trying to
help me, not overuse me. I think they're doing the right thing,
trying to take care of me, trying to protect me." White Sox starter Freddy Garcia gave up seven earned runs and
nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. "When you score nine runs, you should have a win," Guillen
said. "We pitched poorly. Freddy pitched really, really poorly. We
have to look ourselves in the mirror and pitch better." Matt Stairs started the rally with a one-out single. Emil Brown
and Teahen followed with consecutive singles to score pinch-runner
Chip Ambres. Berroa then doubled to right to bring in Brown with
the tying run, and Teahen scored when Dye had trouble picking up
the ball. "My job is to keep running until he [third base coach Luis
Silverio] stops me," Teahen said. "I don't know what happened
with the ball in right field." Said Stairs: "Finally, we took advantage of the other's teams
mistake instead of them taking advantage of our mistakes. That's
probably our nicest win of the year. Hermanson has done especially
well closing games. To sneak in there and take a game with some
clutch hits is nice." Chris Demaria (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his
first career victory. The Royals jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on Mike
Sweeney's two-run homer and Teahen's RBI single. The White Sox took the lead with a six-run third. Tadahito
Iguchi hit a three-run homer, Dye had a sacrifice fly and Juan
Uribe added a two-run shot. Uribe is hitting a major league-best
.465 in September, with six home runs, 13 RBI and 12 runs scored. Kansas City closed the gap to 6-4 in the bottom of the inning.
Terrence Long led off with a single, advanced to third on Stairs'
single and scored on Freddy Garcia's wild pitch. Carl Everett had an RBI single in the fourth and Joe Crede hit a
two-run homer in the fifth to stretch Chicago's lead to 9-4, but
Garcia let the Royals back in the game. "I'm just really disappointed on how I pitched," Garcia said.
"I should pitch better. It was a terrible start." Stairs had a sacrifice fly in the fifth, and the Royals scored
two more runs in the seventh. Berroa led off with a triple and
scored when left fielder Podsednik had trouble picking it up.
Andres Blanco tripled with one out and scored on Aaron Guiel's
sacrifice fly. Rookie left-hander J.P. Howell, who held Chicago to two hits and
two runs over six innings in a victory last Thursday, allowed six
runs on seven hits in just three innings.
Sweeney has 35 doubles, the most by a Royals player since
Carlos Beltran hit 44 in 2002. Sweeney hit his 20th home run, the
sixth time in his career to reach that mark. ... Iguchi's 62 RBI,
42 extra-base hits and 29 multi-hit games rank second among AL
rookies. He leads AL rookies with 200 total bases.