Crede a Royal pain for K.C.

CHICAGO (AP) -- Despite struggling with the bat for most of the
season, Joe Crede showed again why the White Sox have faith in him.

Crede hit a game-winning three-run shot in the ninth -- his
second homer in two innings -- to lead the Chicago White Sox to a
7-6 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.

"I think our expectations for Joe were very high in spring
training," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. "I think the
biggest disappointment with him this year has been his batting
average. He has shown good power for us this year and has come up
with some very big hits and I think that going into next year our
expectations should remain high for him in the future."

Aaron Rowand and Ross Gload also homered for Chicago, which has
won three straight games.

Trailing 6-1 in the eighth inning, the White Sox started their
comeback against Kansas City starter Mike Wood.

Crede led off with a home run and Wilson Valdez singled off
Wood. One out later Rowand followed with a two-run homer off Royals
reliever Shawn Camp to make it 6-4.

In the ninth, Royals closer Jeremy Affeldt (3-4) allowed a
leadoff walk to Juan Uribe. Joe Borchard followed with a single.
Jamie Burke botched a bunt attempt, and Stairs threw out Uribe
going to third, but Crede followed with his third career
game-ending homer to right-center.

"First and second like that, you want to try to drive the ball
the other way into the gap," said Crede.

Affeldt took blame for the loss after the game.

"Tonight was one of those things where everything went bad. My
location wasn't there. My pitch selection was poor. This one's on
me," said Affeldt.

Damaso Marte (6-5) pitched a scoreless ninth for the victory.

Kansas City took a 2-0 lead in the first, thanks in part to an
error and an infield hit. Royals leadoff hitter David DeJesus
reached on a throwing error by White Sox shortstop Wilson Valdez in
the first inning. Desi Relaford followed with a single to right,
and one out later, Stairs drove in DeJesus. Abraham Nunez capped
the scoring with an infield single, driving in Relaford.

Ruben Gotay hit a triple off White Sox starter Jose Contreras in
the fourth and scored on Contreras' wild pitch to make it 3-0.

The Royals padded their lead in fifth. Calvin Pickering led off
with a single, Dee Brown walked and both runners moved up on
Contreras' wild pitch. After Gotay struck out, Neal Cotts relieved
Contreras and gave up a two-run single to DeJesus, giving the
Royals a 5-1 lead.

Cotts also gave up a solo home run to Matt Stairs in the

"I don't care about the home run. The bottom line is we lost
the game," said Stairs. "You think you have it in the bag. It's
not a good feeling. There's not much you can say."

Wood retired the first 11 White Sox batters before Carlos Lee
broke the streak with an infield hit in the fourth inning. Wood
allowed three runs on seven hits, striking out four and didn't
allow a walk.

Contreras struggled with his command and gave up five runs, four
earned, and five hits. He struck out seven, walked two and threw
three wild pitches.

After starting 4-1 in his first six starts for the White Sox,
Contreras has lost his last four decisions and hasn't won since
Aug. 28 at Cleveland.

"It's very hard to win in this league if you can't throw
strikes. Right now he needs to find the strike zone a little more
and he can be a very special pitcher," Guillen said.

Game notes
Royals SS Angel Berroa was out of the lineup. He left in
the third inning of Wednesday's extra-inning win at Tampa Bay with
a bruised left shoulder after getting hit by a pitch. ... Gload has
five straight multihit games. ... The White Sox tied the teams'
franchise record for 220 home runs in a season.