Royals 4, White Sox 2
Luis Mendoza is pitching so well the Kansas City Royals are
having some fun with his unorthodox hairstyle.
Mendoza tossed seven effective innings, Salvador Perez hit a
tiebreaking two-run double and the Royals rallied for a 4-2 victory
over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
Lorenzo Cain and Billy Butler each hit a solo homer as Kansas
City won for the third time in four games.
Mendoza (7-8), who has shoulder-length hair, allowed two runs
and four hits, struck out six and walked one. The 28-year-old
right-hander improved to 3-1 with a 3.58 ERA in August.
”It’s kind of like his hair,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
”His streak gets a little bit longer and a little bit fluffier as
time goes on. I don’t know what to say.
”What he’s doing is attacking the strike zone with good natural
movement on his fastball, which is tough to center. He’s been very
effective with his curveball and his changeup. You add all that up,
he gets quick outs, goes deep into the games. I think we’re seeing
a lot of what they saw last year in the Pacific Coast League.”
Mendoza (7-8) was the 2011 PCL pitcher of the year, but he
entered this season with only six big league wins over parts of
If Mendoza’s long hair is the secret to his success, Butler
doesn’t care if he ever cuts it.
”Whatever it takes,” said Butler, who hit his 25th home run.
”He can do whatever he wants if he keeps throwing like that. He’s
strung quite a few starts together that have been real good. I
think he’s the best pitcher on our staff right now with the stuff
that he’s been throwing. He’s going deep into the game every time
”Mendy threw fantastic. He got into a rhythm and was just
pounding the strike zone. He had a real good curveball. He’s been
working on his off-speed stuff and throughout the season it has
gotten a lot better.”
Paul Konerko hit a solo drive for Chicago after being activated
from the seven-day concussion disabled list. It was Konerko’s first
game since he was struck by a Jarrod Dyson elbow while covering
first base on Aug. 7 against the Royals.
White Sox ace Chris Sale (14-4) allowed four runs and nine hits
in 6 2-3 innings. The 6-foot-6 left-hander dropped to 11-2 with a
2.60 ERA in his last 15 starts.
Gordon Beckham hit a two-out RBI single in the fifth to give the
White Sox a 2-1 lead, but Butler belted a tying solo drive in the
The Royals grabbed the lead for good in the seventh. Mike
Moustakas and Alcides Escobar hit consecutive one-out singles to
put runners on corners. Escobar then stole second when Alex Gordon
struck out for the second out.
After Butler was walked intentionally, Perez fell behind in the
count 1-2 before rifling a double off the fence in left.
”He’s just a big, strong guy who put his bat out there and got
it,” Sale said. ”You have to give him credit.”
Kelvin Herrera worked out of a jam in the eighth and Greg
Holland finished for his fifth save in six opportunities.
The White Sox put runners on the corners with two down in the
ninth, but Dayan Viciedo flied out to end the game.
Chicago got a scare in the first inning when a wicked Escobar
one-hopper struck Sale in his pitching hand. That prompted a visit
from manager Robin Ventura and a trainer, but Sale remained in the
game after a couple of warmup pitches.
”At first I was a little scared, but I started moving it around
and it was fine,” Sale said. ”After a couple of warmup pitches it
Royals second baseman Chris Getz broke his left thumb in the
fifth inning when he was hit by a pitch while bunting foul. He is
scheduled to have surgery Saturday and is done for the season.
NOTES: In addition to activating Konerko, the White Sox recalled
LHP Hector Santiago from Triple-A Charlotte and placed INF Orlando
Hudson (bruised left foot) and LHP Leyson Septimo (left biceps
inflammation) on the 15-day DL. … Butler started at first base
for only the 12th time as regular 1B Eric Hosmer was held out of
the lineup against Sale. .LHP Bruce Chen, who starts Saturday, is
4-4 against the White Sox, but all the victories have come at U.S.
Cellular Field. RHP Jake Peavy, who is 1-4 with a 5.93 ERA in five
starts at Kauffman Stadium, will be the White Sox starter.