The good news for the White Sox is they have only three more games against the Kansas City Royals.
Or it’s bad news.
Given their dismal 5-10 mark against the Royals after losing 2-1 Sunday in 10 innings, the Sox may feel more comfortable in the showdown against the pursuing Detroit Tigers that begins tonight.
“We know it’s important,” Gordon Beckham said of the four-game series against the Tigers, who trail in the American League Central by two games. “We’re excited to play them at home and not in Detroit [where the Tigers swept three from the Sox a week ago.]
“But obviously, you don’t want to lose [this] series,” Beckham said of dropping two of three to the Royals. “We played okay. [Royals starter Jeremy] Guthrie was really good. So were our pitchers. It just got away from us.”
It took 10 innings before either side scored, the Royals stranding 10 runners through nine innings and the Sox with fewer opportunities stranding five.
But in the 10th, the Royals broke through after two outs when Mike Moustakas singled off Brett Myers (2-3) scoring Jarrod Dyson, who was running for Billy Butler (walk). Jeff Francouer followed with a single to score Salvador Perez (single).
The Sox threatened in the 10th after A.J. Pierzynski drew a walk from Greg Holland (13th save) and scored on a one out double by Beckham.
That put Orlando Hudson (walk) at third and Beckham at second, but Holland struck out Alejandro De Aza and Ray Olmedo, who batted for himself with no one left on the bench.
Myers was one of seven Sox relievers who followed starter Hector Santiago. But the Royals have been Myers’ nemesis this season, going 18-26 against him, including while he pitched for the Houston Astros before being traded to the Sox in July.
“It seems like every time I face them, they [hit] balls that find holes,” Myers said. “They are just putting the bat on it and finding holes and being able to score runs.”
The Royals also have tormented the Tigers, who are 1-5 since sweeping the Sox a week ago.
The Sox are 3-3 since that sweep and saw their streak of winning five straight home series ended by the Royals.
“Hector did a great job getting us in position [working into the fifth] to get [the bullpen] in there,” manager Robin Ventura said. “Situationally, we didn’t do what we wanted to do offensively, running the bases and all that kind of stuff. It was a bad day all around.”
Guthrie continued his mastery over the Sox, extending his scoreless streak against them to 23 2/3 innings.
But it was Kelvin Herrera (3-2) who slammed the door in the ninth, entering with one out and De Aza on second. He intentionally walked pinch hitter Dan Johnson, but Alexei Ramirez’ single to left was hit too sharply to score De Aza.
The threat ended with Alex Rios grounding into a double play.
The Tigers arrive with their own wounds to lick after getting swept in a three-game weekend series by the Los Angeles Angels.
“Detroit has a great team, and that’s the bottom line,” said Sox pitcher Jake Peavy, who starts on Wednesday. “They don’t have many holes at all. [Starters Max] Scherzer and [Justin} Verlander are as good as anybody in the game. That lineup speaks for itself. It’s so dangerous all the way through. Then the back end of that bullpen has two of the best late inning guys. They’re a great team. It has been surprising that after they swept us, things haven’t gone their way, but that’s just baseball.”