KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chris Sale regrouped after a rough start and was good enough to get his 15th win. When closer David Robertson cost the Cy Young candidate another victory, Todd Frazier had both of their backs.
“We pick each other up,’’ Frazier said after hitting his 31st home run, a three-run shot against Kelvin Herrera that lifted the Sox to a 7-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. “Dave gave up that [tying] RBI single [to Alcides Escobar] but we said ‘Let’s pick the guy up.’ ’’
Frazier hit Herrera’s first pitch with Jose Abreu (2-for-5, RBI) and Justin Morneau (4-for-5, RBI) on base. Jacob Turner (unearned run) and lefty Dan Jennings (first save) finished up.
After seven of the first 13 batters reached with hits against him, Sale retired14 of the last 15 he faced.
Sale has allowed seven runs over his last four starts but has been stuck on 14 wins since he beat the Astros on July 2.
Sale said he wasn’t “finishing well” with his offspeed pitches early, made an adjustment and also commanded his fastball better as the game went along.
A 15th win would have tied him J.A. Happ, Rick Porcello and Stephen Strasburg for the major league lead in wins.
“That kind of stuff will work itself out,’’ he said. “We’re listening to music right now, and it’s a good time. So that’s all that matters. I’m not a big fan of individual stats. To come back after something like that, it’s big. It says a lot about our guys, especially here in this stadium.’’
In a matchup of 53-58 teams, the Royals led right away on leadoff man Paulo Orlando’s double and Cheslor Cuthbert’s RBI single in the first. After the Sox tied it against Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez on Melky Cabrera’s RBI groundout in the third, the Royals took a 3-1 lead on Eric Hosmer’s two-run single past third baseman Todd Frazier. Cabrera’s throw from left would have had Lorenzo Cain, but the ball came out of catcher Dioner Navarro’s glove.
The Sox got three in the fifth on singles by Tim Anderson, Cabrera (RBI), Adam Eaton, Abreu (RBI) and Justin (RBI).
After seven of the first 13 Royals reached on hits, Sale did not allow a hit. He gave up three runs, all earned, on seven hits and one walk with six strikeouts over seven innings.