Royals deal another blow to ChiSox's playoff hopes
Even with a blister on his right throwing finger and the lack of his usual overpowering fastball, Robinson Tejeda still continued his dominance since joining the Royals rotation.
Tejeda won his third straight start, pitching six solid innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 2-1 on Sunday.
Mitch Maier had an RBI single for the Royals, who have won 10 of their last 13 games.
Since moving from the bullpen to the starting rotation on Sept. 4, Tejeda (4-1) is 3-0. He has allowed just two runs over 22 1-3 innings as a starter.
"He (Tejeda) didn't really have his overpowering fastball. It was one of those days like all pitchers have. When you reach back it just doesn't come out like it (usually) does," Royals catcher John Buck said. "But he reached down and really let it go every once in a while when we needed do and really did a good job locating with his fastball both sides of the plate."
Tejeda allowed one run and three hits. He struck out five and walked two and was not phased by a blister that developed in his last start against Detroit.
"It was not bothering me at all. I said great," Tejeda said. "It's not hurting, let's do this. I got a blister the game before Detroit. In Detroit it was bothering me a little bit with my breaking pitch."
Royals closer Joakim Soria got five outs for his 26th save in 29 opportunities. He struck out Paul Konerko with runners on first and second in the eighth. After a walk to Alexei Ramirez to load the bases, Soria ended the White Sox scoring threat by getting Jermaine Dye to fly out.
White Sox pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay singled with two outs in the ninth. Dewayne Wise, who replaced Kotsay as a pinch-runner, attempted to steal second but was thrown out to end the game.
Tejeda left the game after throwing 104 pitches and retiring the last seven batters in order.
"He's good. The difference was when he was coming out of the bullpen he was throwing 97, 98 mph, now he is 91, 92 and he spots it a lot better and doesn't fall behind too many guys," said A.J. Pierzynski. It's pretty amazing seeing the transformation a guy can make from going from the bullpen to being a starter and having the success that he's had. He's done it four or five times now so it's not a fluke."
The White Sox failed to take advantage of a strong start by Freddy Garcia (2-3), who went a season-high eight innings, allowed two runs on five hits. He struck out three and walked one.
"Freddy changes speed very well and keeps guys offbalanced and he's been pitching great. It's a shame we couldn't find a way to score a couple for him and get him a win," said Pierzynski.
Chicago has lost four of its last five games and trail the Detroit Tigers by 6 1-2 games in the AL Central.
"We're not in a good spot, we're not where we want to be, but even if we were leading the division by 6 1-2 games it wouldn't change what we needed to do tomorrow when we come in here," said Paul Konerko.
Willie Bloomquist led off the game with a double and stole third. Then scored on Garcia's wild pitch. With one out in the third inning, Josh Anderson bunted for a hit and stole second. Anderson scored on Maier's single.
Anderson also helped Tejeda by robbing Carlos Quentin of a homer when he made a leaping catch at the wall in center.
Scott Podsednik led off the fourth for the White Sox with a single and scored on Pierzynski's RBI single. Tejeda escaped further damage by getting Quentin to fly out with the bases loaded to end the inning.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen will start RHP Daniel Hudson on Monday against the Twins in place of Gavin Floyd. Hudson was a combined 14-5 with a 2.32 ERA in the White Sox minor league system. He started the season at Class-A Kannapolis before being promoted to Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. Floyd will miss the start with a sore left hip. Floyd is expected to make his next start on Saturday against the Tigers if the White Sox are still in postseason contention. ... RHP Jake Peavy said he experienced some "general soreness" a day after his start on Saturday. He is expected to make his next start Friday.