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White Sox rally three times but can’t pull ahead of Royals in 13-inning loss

The White Sox showed the heart and resiliency that defined the 2005 World Series champions by coming back from three deficits Saturday.

All that was missing, as has often been the case this season, was the win.

Lorenzo Cain blasted a solo home run in the top of the 13th inning to earn the Royals a 7-6 victory at U.S. Cellular Field. The Sox can now do no better than split this crucial four-game series on Sunday with less than two weeks remaining before the trade deadline.

“That’s just a tough game to lose,” said reliever Dan Jennings, who gave up the game-winning homer. “It’s a division game that we really knew we had to play well and we did. It’s just tough to lose because you could see in everybody’s face how bad they wanted that game. It just didn’t work out in our favor.”

The 2005 Sox were honored before the game in a special ceremony as part of the 10-year reunion weekend. That team was defined by timely, clutch hits by everyone from Paul Konerko to Joe Crede and Pablo Ozuna – all of whom were in attendance.

There were, indeed, a few clutch moments for the Sox on Saturday, but not the one they needed to take the lead.

Alexei Ramirez tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth. He then tied the game up again, 4-4, with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh.

After falling behind again, J.B. Shuck got to play the hero with a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the ninth that tied the game at 6-6.

The score remained knotted there until Cain’s homer off Jennings in the 13th.

The significance of each loss during these next two weeks isn’t lost on the Sox, but Geovany Soto said they aren’t dwelling on the negative.

“I feel that we take it, try to look at the positive,” said Soto, who cranked a double in the 12th that fell just short of being a game-winning homer. “Tomorrow we have another game. So, right now, what I’m seeing is we are competing and we are grinding and battling and coming back from being behind, and that’s kind of the way I see it. You can see the fight in this team and you will continue to see it.”

Jennings threw a career-high 3 2/3 innings to finish the game and gave up just the one run on three hits.

He threw 49 pitches during his outing but said he felt confident coming out for a fourth inning. The Sox are short a pitcher in the bullpen, so Jennings knew the game would be left up to him with only David Robertson left to use.

“Once you go there you got nobody left,” Ventura said of using Robertson. “Danny did a nice job. He battled as long as he could, He gave up one in that stretch and you end up losing the game. But he battled and he did what he was supposed to do. He gave us plenty of opportunities to score and it didn’t happen.”

Sox starter Jose Quintana gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings, ending a streak of nine consecutive quality starts. He failed to reach six innings pitched for the first time since May 7.