Callaspo's big day leads Royals past ChiSox
Alberto Callaspo dressed quickly and raced out of the ballpark to meet his wife at the airport.
Perhaps the error-prone second baseman couldn't wait to tell her the Kansas City fans weren't so mad at him any more. His two hits and three RBIs enabled the Royals to double their run total of the four previous games combined and beat the Chicago White Sox 6-4 Saturday.
"Two really big hits," said Royals manager Trey Hillman. "We finally got some key hits and bunched some key at-bats together."
It was the Royals' first win in seven tries against the White Sox and snapped Chicago's seven-game winning streak. Perhaps it also cooled, at least momentarily, the fan wrath which had been building against Callaspo after his errors at second were big factors in the Royals' losing their previous four games.
Callaspo got his big day started, and gave the Royals their first run in 13 innings, with an RBI triple off Gavin Floyd (6-6) in the fifth.
"Callaspo hit a slider that didn't slide," said Floyd.
Then the switch-hitter turned around to bat right-handed against Matt Thornton in the sixth and blooped a two-run single into right field.
That made it 5-4 and gave the offensively challenged Royals their first lead in 38 innings. Then the bullpen retired nine batters in a row in support of Luke Hochevar (4-3), who went six innings and gave up four runs, including two homers.
"Three zeroes, that's nice to see," said Hillman. "It's badly needed in a tight game, against a club that's been putting up runs, some veteran players who know how to work the count."
Hochevar went six innings, allowing four runs and nine hits, with two walks and three strikeouts. Joakim Soria pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances.
"Soria's very good," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. "He throws lots of strikes. When you see Soria coming out, it will be a tough inning."
Floyd, who was 3-0 his five previous starts, took a 3-0 lead and a no-hitter into the fifth. But Mike Jacobs led off with a clean single into right and Callaspo followed with a triple into right-center.
One out later, Mitch Maier's sacrifice fly made it 3-2.
In the sixth, Willie Bloomquist singled and stole second and after Jose Guillen reached on a fielder's choice, Mark Teahen's RBI single cut the deficit to 4-3. Thornton came out of the bullpen and Callaspo responded with his two-run single.
"I was throwing the ball well and then all of a sudden gave up some runs," said Floyd, who went 5 1-3 innings and was charged with five runs on four hits, with four strikeouts and three walks. "I got behind a lot of hitters. I wasn't aggressive enough."
Brayan Pena had a solo home run off Octavio Dotel in the eighth.
Jermaine Dye had a two-run home run in the third for the White Sox and then Gordon Beckham made it 4-2 with a solo shot in the sixth. Dewayne Wise singled home Chicago's first run in the second.
"The home run to Jermaine, that was a stupid pitch," said Hochevar. "A changeup right down the plate. Terrible pitch. I usually don't throw that pitch there. The one to Beckham, in that situation I thought I made a good pitch. But it was up a little bit and he's got quick hands."
Maier was out on an unusual play in the third that was officially recorded as five-unassisted. Maier was on second when Bloomquist hit a grounder to third baseman Beckham. Maier was ruled out when he ran into Beckham before he got control of the ball. Both players crashed to the ground but neither was hurt.
3b Alex Gordon had a hit in his rehab game at Triple-A Omaha on Friday night and the Royals are encouraged in the progress he's making since having hip surgery in April. "He's not having any pain. That's the big plus," manager Trey Hillman said. ... While going 2-4 on this homestand, the Royals have given up at least one home run every game but still lead the league in fewest homers allowed (70). ... Before their current 15-5 road surge, the White Sox had gone 1-10 away from home.