Royals topple White Sox

BY foxsports • March 30, 2012

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Alex Gordon started to prove his value to the Kansas City Royals on Friday.

Gordon went 2 for 2 with a two-run homer and scored two runs and the Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox 7-2 Friday night.

He agreed to a four-year $37.5 million contract with a player option for a fifth season before the game.

Sean O'Sullivan pitched five hitless innings for the victory.

Gordon hit an opposite-field homer in the second off left-hander Eric Stults. He singled in the first, stopped at third on an Eric Hosmer double and scored on a passed ball.

"My whole focus was getting ready for the year and not worry about this contract stuff, even though it was something I wanted to happen," Gordon said.

Gordon looks ready to start the season, hitting .410 with four home runs and 14 RBIs. He is among the American League leaders in spring training with 25 hits, 15 runs and 42 total bases.

"This upcoming year I think is going to be special for myself and my teammates," Gordon said.

Gordon, the second player picked in the 2005 draft, had a breakout season in 2011, hitting .303 with 45 doubles, 23 home runs, 101 runs and 87 RBIs.

"It's a weight lifted off his shoulders," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He's been thinking about this for a couple of days. I think knowing it was getting it close, it's a relief to get it done and you can go out and play your game. I've never met a baseball player as focused and prepared everyday as Alex is.

"It just helps you sleep easier knowing Alex is going to be here. Alex leaves nothing on the field at the end of the day. He's played with every bit of ounce of passion and talent he has every single day. It's very comforting to know we have these special players here for a long time."

Hosmer drove in two runs with a fifth-inning single and leads the majors with 28 RBIs.

O'Sullivan, who had allowed four runs and nine hits in four innings in his previous two outings in relief, retired his first 14 batters before walking Alexei Ramirez with two outs in the fifth. That was the only White Sox base runner he allowed.

"I wouldn't say he's been overshadowed, but there's some tremendous competition in this camp," Yost said. "I was really proud of him, the way he came out and threw the ball as well as he did. It was spectacular the way he threw. He pitched five no-hit innings against their A-lineup just about. That was a tremendous job by him."

Hosmer committed a throwing error in the sixth that led to two unearned runs off rookie reliever Kelvin Herrera. Dayan Viciedo doubled and Brent Morel singled in the sixth for the only White Sox hits.

Stults took the loss, allowing three runs and five hits and a walk in four innings.

NOTES: RHP Luis Mendoza, who will be the Royals' No. 4 starter, threw 87 pitches in five innings in a minor league intrasquad game Friday. He allowed a run and seven hits, struck out eight and walked none. ... RHP Phillip Humber, who is in the White Sox rotation, gave up four runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings against a Reds farm club. He struck out five, walked one and threw 65 strikes in 106 pitches.

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