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Hernandez outduels Contreras; Royals hold off ChiSox

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Playoff contenders should beware of the
last-place Kansas City Royals.

Since Aug. 8, the Royals are 3-0 against the Boston Red Sox, 4-2
against the Chicago White Sox, 2-1 against the Minnesota Twins and
2-2 against the Oakland Athletics.

Mark Teahen hit a two-run homer to highlight a six-run fourth
inning and the Royals held off the White Sox 7-5 Friday night.

"It is more exciting playing teams in it right now because
obviously we're not playing for a whole lot," Teahen said. "To be
able to knock off those teams is more exciting. We're not in the
hunt, but we can affect who makes the playoffs."

The White Sox threatened in the ninth, loading the bases twice.
Tadahito Iguchi drew a one-out walk, Jermaine Dye doubled and Jim
Thome walked before Paul Konerko made it 7-5 with a sacrifice fly.
A.J. Pierzynski walked to load the bases again, but Joe Crede flew
out to left for the final out.

"That's not exactly the way I drew it up," said rookie Joe
Nelson, who picked up his fifth save in as many opportunities. "It
is a character builder, get yourself in a jam and get yourself out
of a game. When Crede hit that last one, I said 'fly ball' and the
weight was off my shoulders."

The White Sox remained a half-game in front of Minnesota, which
lost at New York, in the AL wild-card standings.

"I hope everybody doesn't go home thinking that they almost
blew it," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "I certainly don't look
at it that way as we're playing the world champions. We had some
anxious moments there in the eighth and ninth. Against these guys,
the world champs, you've going to have games like that."

Five of the Royals' run in the fourth off Jose Contreras (11-7)
were unearned thanks to three errors by the White Sox. Center
fielder Rob Mackowiak threw wildly to third trying to get a runner,
third baseman Crede overthrew first while fielding a bunt and
shortstop Alex Cintron bobbled a grounder.

"The three mistakes we made cost us six runs," White Sox
manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I'm not going to blame Jose. If you
don't get help, you're not going to look good. I'm not going to
blame my players. Players make errors. It seemed like we played one
bad inning."

Teahen, who leads the Royals with 18 home runs, hit a two-run
homer into the Royals' bullpen in right field with two out in the
inning. David DeJesus, who has safely in 10 of the past 11 games,
also had a two-run double in the inning.

"It was a fastball in and I recognized it," Teahen said. "I
wasn't trying to jerk it out of the park. I got to it and hit it
good."

Contreras is 0-3 in four starts since an Aug. 11 victory over
the Tigers.

"Errors are part of the game," Contreras said through a
translator. "I wasn't at my best. When I needed to get the ball
down, I couldn't do it."

Royals right-hander Runelvys Hernandez, who shut out Toronto in
his previous start, allowed one run on five hits over six innings.
Hernandez (5-8) is 3-1 in his past four starts.

Teahen, who was in a 4-for-26 skid and hitless in his previous
nine at-bats, singled home DeJesus with two out in the third for
the first Kansas City run.

The White Sox scored three runs in the eighth. Pierzynski and
Ross Gload had RBI singles, while Paul Konerko was hit by Ambiorix
Burgos with the bases loaded.

Crede hit his 29th home run in the fifth for the only run off
Hernandez. The White Sox top the majors with 201 home runs. Crede,
who also singled in the first, pushed his hit total to 142, which
is a career high.

"This is a frustrating game for us," Crede said, referring to
the team's errors. "The most frustrating thing is we don't do that
often. Give them credit for taking advantage."

Game notes
Dye had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 12
games. ... If RHP Ryan Braun, who was promoted from Triple-A Omaha,
gets in a game, he will be the 29th pitcher used by the Royals this
season, which would tie a franchise record for pitchers used in a
season. ... The White Sox finished August with a 16-13 record,
hitting .280 with 38 home runs and 150 runs, while the pitching
staff had a 4.38 ERA.