KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An early four-run deficit would have likely been too much for the Kansas City Royals to overcome last year, probably any other season over the past decade.
This team is wired a little different. They expect to win, refuse to roll over when it gets tough.John Buck lined a game-winning single with the bases loaded in the 11th inning to help the Royals complete an 8-7 comeback victory over the White Sox on Tuesday night."It speaks a lot to their will," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "They want to keep playing when they get down. I guess it's character, which is great to see. The guys have a taste of it and they want more."Nearly everyone contributed to this one.Mike Jacobs helped chip away at the early deficit with a three-run homer. Alberto Callaspo hit a solo shot and had a run-scoring double to extend his hitting streak to seven games. Billy Butler tied the game at 7-all with a run-scoring single in the seventh. Coco Crisp stole two bases and matched a career-high with four of Kansas City's 11 walks.Jamey Wright pitched three strong innings of late relief and Juan Cruz (2-0) set up the winning rally by working the 11th.Mitch Maier set up the rally by walking with one out, then went to third on Willie Bloomquist's hit-and-run single off Lance Broadway (0-1). Callaspo was intentionally walked and Buck lined the next pitch just past third baseman Josh Fields for Kansas City's seventh comeback win of the season. The first-place Royals have won four straight and six of seven overall."One thing we've shown all season is a never-die attitude," said Jacobs, who hit his fifth homer.Jermaine Dye and Fields returned from hand injuries to homer and Scott Podsednik drove in two runs for Chicago, which had 16 hits. A.J. Pierzynski had four hits and Carlos Quentin three, but the White Sox stranded 13 runners on and didn't score after the fifth inning to lose four straight to Kansas City for the first time since 2003.Chicago has lost four straight overall and is just 12-14 after winning the AL Central last season."Some people on this team better check [themselves]," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "They better think about the way we're playing -- I'm talking about everyone. They better be careful. I'm not afraid to move people. I'm not afraid to make changes."The White Sox staked starter Gavin Floyd to a a 4-0 lead in three innings and he gave it all back, allowing Callaspo's second career homer in the third inning and a three-run, 441-foot shot to Jacobs in the fourth. The right-hander ran into trouble again in the sixth inning, chased after a leadoff walk to Jose Guillen and Butler's single.Callaspo followed with a run-scoring double off Matt Thornton, who later walked Crisp with the bases loaded to cut the White Sox's lead to 7-6.Floyd allowed six runs and six hits in his second shaky outing the past three starts."Getting ahead of guys is key for me and early on I did that," Floyd said. "I'm frustrated with myself."Royals starter Kyle Davies wasn't any better, giving up two homers, six runs and eight hits in four innings. Fields led off the third inning with a homer and Dye, back after two games, hit a two-run shot three batters later to put the White Sox up 4-0.The Royals crept back within one, but Davies gave up another run in the fourth on Quentin's RBI single and was done after Dye's leadoff single in the fifth. Alexei Ramirez followed with a run-scoring single off Robinson Tejeda and Podsednik made it 7-4 with a sacrifice fly."It was just a matter of command," Hillman said. "It makes it really difficult on any pitcher when you throw nearly as many balls as strikes, a lot of deep counts and pitch out of jams. More than anything else it was a lack of command, getting guys to swing the bats."
Royals C Bryan Pena, who opened the season in the majors, cleared outright waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Omaha. ... Quentin leads the majors with seven hit-by-pitches after being plunked by Davies in the first inning. ... Chicago's Jim Thome walked three times, moving one past Harmon Killebrew for 14th all-time with 1,561.