ChiSox bang out 17 hits in rout of Royals
Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen was pleased with 17 hits, delighted with how his White Sox used them.
"We did something we don't do this year," Guillen said after Chicago pounded slumping Kansas City 11-2 on Friday night. "Three times we went first-to-third, four times. We put the pressure on the guy. When we got people on base, we'd drive them in."
Starting with Jermaine Dye's first-inning homer off Brian Bannister, everybody in Chicago's starting lineup got involved. Everyone had at least one hit and scored at least one run. Everybody drove in a run except Brian Anderson and Jim Thome - who has 1,514 career RBIs.
"We did a lot of good things," said Guillen, whose White Sox have won seven of their last 10.
Alexei Ramirez, A.J. Pierzynski and Josh Fields each had three hits. Paul Konerko, Ramirez, Dye and Fields each had two RBIs.
Chicago also got good pitching. Clayton Richard (2-0) went seven innings for his second straight victory. He gave up six hits, including Billy Butler's two-run homer, walked only one and struck out seven in his 12th major league start.
The White Sox also got some good defense early, including a 6-4-3 double play to end the second inning while the outcome was still in doubt.
"The defense made some big plays early in the game that got me out of situations I didn't want to get into," Clayton said.
The only problem, he added with a grin, were all those long stretches when the White Sox batters refused to make outs.
"That's a tough thing as a pitcher, having those long innings," he said. "You want those big innings but you want them to be quick big innings. That's a tough thing to sit for a long time and then gear back up and go out and go. But you'd definitely rather get those runs than not get them."
Bannister (4-2), who had won six of eight decisions dating to last September, had his worst outing of the year while losing his fourth straight to the White Sox. The right-hander gave up seven runs on nine hits in five innings plus two batters.
"It wasn't just me. It was every guy that kept going out there," Bannister said. "They kept managing to either hit the ground balls in the holes or flip them out. Or broken bats (hits) over the infield. It was a frustrating night. I don't believe we pitched that bad, but it was one of the fortunate baseball games for them. They're a good hitting team, but things really went their way tonight."
The first five batters scored for Chicago in the sixth, starting with Anderson, who doubled and came home when Chris Getz's RBI single chased Bannister.
Sidney Ponson then gave up singles to Fields, Scott Podsednik and Ramirez before retiring Dye on a run-scoring grounder that made it 9-0. He then walked Thome and gave up an RBI single to Konerko ahead of Pierzynski's RBI double.
After Richard yielded the homer to Butler in the sixth, the 25-year-old left-hander struck out the side in the seventh as Chicago won for the seventh time in 10 games.
Butler, Mark Teahen and Alberto Callaspo each had two hits for Kansas City, which lost for the 14th time in 19 games and dropped two games below .500 for the first time all season.
Ponson got one out while allowing four hits and four runs.
"In his defense, I had him up three different times before I brought him in," said Royals manager Trey Hillman. "That's never easy, but you've still got to find a way to be effective. We just didn't pitch very well."
Hillman said he felt better about his one-game suspension after talking with Bob Watson in the league office. Hillman was quite upset when he was suspended Wednesday for spitting in an umpire's eye, which he said was accidental. "He was very cordial, very understanding of my displeasure," Hillman said. ... The White Sox put OF Carlos Quentin on the 15-day DL with a sore left foot.