CHICAGO -- Coco Crisp doesn't hit many home runs. But when he does, there's a pretty good chance it'll be against the White Sox.
The Royals' new leadoff man hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning that broke a scoreless tie and Kansas City held off Chicago 2-1 Thursday.Crisp has just 57 home runs in 786 career games -- but he's connected nine times in only 65 games against the White Sox."I was just trying to get a pitch where I could get a base hit," Crisp said. "I was actually looking away and I just kind of reacted. That's what usually happens when you let your reactions work for you. Good things happen."The Royals took two of three from the AL Central champion White Sox in the season-opening series that featured outstanding starting pitching."You can't have six guys go out there, starting pitchers on both sides and do better than they did for their teams in these first three games," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "I don't ever recall seeing that in any season I've ever opened and I'm not sure I've seen it that consistent in any series I've ever managed."It was 0-0 when Crisp connected off Bobby Jenks (0-1). Alberto Callaspo doubled with one out and Crisp hit the next pitch for his first home run of the season."It was a cutter that didn't cut," Jenks said. "It happens from time to time. He was looking in, and the location was in but it didn't cut way I wanted it to, off the plate."The Royals got Crisp in November from Boston in a trade for reliever Ramon Ramirez. He had two hits and is batting .364 so far.Held to just three singles for eight innings, the White Sox tried to rally in the ninth.Carlos Quentin led off with a double against Joakim Soria, moved up on a grounder and scored on Jermaine Dye's groundout. Paul Konerko walked on four pitches and an error by third baseman Alex Gordon on Alexei Ramirez's grounder put Chicago in position, but Soria struck out pinch-hitter Wilson Betemit for his second save."This team fights," Konerko said. "We always come back the next day."Royals starter Kyle Davies matched his career high with eight strikeouts. He gave up three hits in seven innings, and retired 11 straight batters in the middle innings."He's on the same roll that he finished August with, and went through September with," Hillman said. "Very impressive."Ron Mahay (1-0) pitched the eighth and got the win.John Danks pitched six scoreless innings, striking out five and walking three for Chicago.In the series, the starting pitchers gave up five runs in 38 innings with 38 strikeouts.The Royals' three starters gave up one earned run while striking out 21 in 20 innings. Aside from the three-run homer Jim Thome hit off Kyle Farnsworth in the season opener, the relievers were barely touched, either."I'm not the type guy who gives credit to people who don't earn it, but they pitched good," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "They pitched real well."Guillen tried to shake up his lineup, moving leadoff hitter Dewayne Wise down to the eighth spot and rookie Chris Getz to the top spot. Wise was hitless in his first two games with four strikeouts, and went 0-for-2 in this game. Getz went 0-for-4, reaching on a fielder's choice in the eighth."I wish whoever I put in the leadoff spot will do their job, because I'm tired of the same questions," Guillen said. "I've been answering the same questions since spring training."Notes The White Sox are preparing to welcome back former 3B Joe Crede on Friday when the Twins come to town. Crede was drafted by Chicago in 1996 and was a mainstay from 2003-08, helping the White Sox win the World Series in 2005. He had been injured much of the last two seasons. The team will honor him with a video tribute Friday. "Joe is very special in this house," Guillen said. "Very, very special. In my heart, in my mind, that guy is a pro. I don't see anybody in this ballclub or anybody in this organization that has got anything bad to say about this kid." ... Royals 1B Mike Jacobs, a left-handed hitter, sat against Danks, but pinch-hit in the eighth. ... Kansas City plays its home opener Friday against the New York Yankees. ... The White Sox have lost their opening series in each of the last four seasons.