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Garland gem, Pierzynski solo shot spark ChiSox's win

• Goat: Shortstop Tony Pena Jr., who let Darin Erstad's grounder roll between his legs, letting Tadahito Iguchi score Chicago's second run.

• Figure this: The White Sox picked up just five hits and came into the game with a .223 average, worst in the majors.

• Quotable: "I always say when you pitch good, you have a chance. But when you score two runs, I don't know how long you're going to be good." -- Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen.

-- ESPN.com news services

White Sox 2, Royals 1

CHICAGO (AP) -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen believes in his
starting pitching. He just doesn't know if it will matter if his
team's sagging offense doesn't pick up soon.

Jon Garland pitched into the ninth inning to win his second
straight start and Chicago held on for a 2-1 victory over the
Kansas City Royals on Friday night.

"I always say when you pitch good, you have a chance," Guillen
said. "But when you score two runs, I don't know how long you're
going to be good."

Garland (2-2) allowed one run and four hits in 8 1-3 innings. He
struck out three and walked one.

"For the most part I was getting ahead early, and the big key
tonight was defense," Garland said. "I'm not striking out a lot
of guys so defense was big for us."

The White Sox picked up just five hits and came into the game
with a .223 average, worst in the majors. Their three-four hitters,
Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko, went 0-for-8, dropping their
averages to .193 and .203, respectively.

But Chicago (17-15) has survived with solid starting pitching.
Its starters have gone at least six innings in 17 straight starts.

"All five of them have done a great job of going as deep as
they can," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "They're inning-eaters
and they save our bullpen, give those guys rest and they come in
and finish the game when they need to."

The White Sox have won three straight and five of six.

"I'm happy where we are right now," Guillen said. "But it's
like every time we win, it's like, 'Oh my god.' Because we expect a
lot out of our offense and it hasn't showed up yet."

Pierzynski put Chicago in front 1-0 with a two-out homer off
Odalis Perez in the fourth.

"Odalis pitched pretty well," Pierzynski said. "It's not like
he was laying cookies up there for us to hit. He got pitches when
he had to, got ground balls when he had to. It seems like we've
been running into a string of guys that have been hot."

Chicago added another run in the fifth when Tadahito Iguchi
doubled and scored from third on an error by Royals shortstop Tony
Pena Jr., who let Darin Erstad's grounder roll between his legs.

"We gave it a run as usual," Mark Grudzielanek said. "We're
just a little short. It's always one little play or a hit short of
winning the ballgame."

Down 2-0, the Royals broke through against Garland with a run in
the ninth on doubles by Esteban German and Grudzielanek. Matt
Thornton relieved Garland and struck Mark Teahen out swinging.

"I should have been more aggressive in the ninth," Garland
said. "They're not going to give up."

Bobby Jenks got Mike Sweeney to line out to third for his 12th
save in 13 chances.

Perez (2-4) gave up two runs and five hits in seven-plus
innings. He walked one and left in the eighth with no outs after
giving up a single to Pablo Ozuna.

Ozuna got to third with one out on a stolen base and a throwing
error by John Buck, but was nailed at home by Teahen trying to
score on Konerko's fly ball to right.

"It was a great outing," Perez said. "Both Garland and me, it
was a great game. He pitched better than me and he got the win."

The Royals had a good scoring chance in the sixth when Buck
singled and went to third on consecutive groundouts. Grudzielanek
lined out to second to end the threat.

"We were real flat today," Grudzielanek said. "When we did
hit it hard, it was at people."

Kansas City has lost six of seven.

Game notes
Pierzynski has six home runs, tied for the team lead with
Dye. ... The Royals placed catcher Jason LaRue on the 15-day DL with a left shoulder contusion and recalled Paul Phillips from Triple-A. ... White Sox DH Jim Thome (strained muscle right rib cage) took live batting practice before Friday's game and might go on his minor league rehab Sunday. ... White Sox backup catcher Toby Hall (torn right labrum) is scheduled to start his minor league rehab Saturday.