Jenks nails down save as White Sox avert 1-5 start

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Mark Buehrle had more trouble getting
out of the way of balls hit up the middle than with the Kansas City

Buehrle pitched eight strong innings and Joe Crede drove in two
runs as the Chicago White Sox defeated the Royals 3-1 Sunday to
snap a four-game losing streak.

Buehrle was struck in the right triceps by Reggie Sanders'
comebacker to end the fourth, and Shane Costa's grounder ricocheted
off the pitcher's right leg in the sixth.

"My leg cramped up in the eighth inning," Buehrle said. "It
was like getting an elbow to the knee. I wanted to go back out and
finish it, but it was best to let the bullpen finish it."

Buehrle (1-0) gave up just six singles, walked one and struck
out one. The Royals did not have a runner reach second base until
the seventh inning.

"My velocity was back up, which I was happy to see that,"
Buehrle said. "I was getting ground balls, which was nice to

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was happy to see a well pitched
game after his club had a 6.20 ERA in the first six games.

"He's my ace," Guillen said. "He's been doing that for a long
time. When things are going tough, he came up big. I've got a lot
of confidence in him. Hopefully, the rest of my starters will
follow him. Buehrle stepped up big today."

The White Sox took a 2-0 lead in the second. Jermaine Dye walked
with one out and advanced to third on A.J. Pierzynski's single to
center. Crede's broken-bat double to left scored both.

Jim Thome homered deep into the left-field seats with two out in
the eighth inning off Scott Elarton (0-2). It was the third of the
season for Thome, the only White Sox player to homer.

Bobby Jenks gave up a one-out homer to Reggie Sanders in the
ninth, but finished up for his first save.

Buehrle did not allow a hit until Mark Teahen's grounder to
center field with two outs in the fifth. The only other baserunner
the Royals had in the first five innings was Emil Brown reaching
first on Tadahito Iguchi's fielding error in the second inning.

Chicago avoided its first 1-5 start since 2001 as Buehrle
improved to 13-6 against the Royals. He has more wins, 15, against
only Minnesota.

The Royals had two singles in the sixth, but were victimized by
sloppy baserunning. Tony Graffanino was thrown out by Scott
Podsednik trying to stretch a hit into a double. Mark Grudzielanek
singled, but Buehrle promptly picked him off to end the inning.
Buehrle has picked off 38 runners, including a league-leading 10 in

"That was huge especially with (Mike) Sweeney on deck. He's hit
me pretty well," Buehrle said. "That's why I kind of gave a
little fist pump after I picked him off. If you make a mistake to
Sweeney, he's going to hit the ball out of the park and would be a
tie game. That is one of the big points of the game."

Royals manager Buddy Bell was ejected in the ninth inning after
arguing an out call on Sweeney's liner to third baseman Crede. The
ball popped out of Crede's glove and third base umpire Bruce
Froemming initially ruled Sweeney safe. However, the umpires
huddled and Sweeney was called out, drawing Bell from the dugout.

"My perspective on that was I don't think the call was made
correctly," Bell said. "My perspective was if it's a catch, the
ball would have stayed in his glove. It's pretty elementary for me.
He (plate umpire Mike Winters) called me nuts. It's not the first
time I've been called that."

Said Crede, "It was a catch bottom line. I caught it in the
air. I fell down and still had it in my glove and I was going to
show it to him as a courtesy to the umpire behind me."

Sanders followed with his solo homer to center.

Sanders and Brown singled in the seventh, but Angel Berroa
grounded into a double play to end the Royals' threat.

In the eighth, John Buck walked and Shane Costa singled, but
Buehrle retired Graffanino and Grudzielanek on fielder's choice
grounders to end the inning.

Elarton allowed three runs and five hits in eight innings. He
walked two and struck out four.

"I don't care if we are scoring runs, two losses is still two
losses," Elarton said. "I'd rather win 6-5 or 10-9 and come out a

Game notes
Royals CF David DeJesus remains sidelined with tightness in
his left hamstring. ... RF Dye returned to the White Sox lineup
after missing two games with a strained left calf. ... Graffanino
made his first start of the season for the Royals, playing first