Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) – Billy Butler drove in two runs to back Anthony Lerew’s solid performance on the mound, as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox, 3-1, in the opener of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
Lerew (1-1) gave up one run on three hits in six innings to pick up his first win in the majors. Lerew, who was appearing in his 17th career game, fanned four batters and walked one. Joakim Soria recorded his 19th save of the year.
Mike Aviles went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Royals, who have won two in a row and four of five overall.
Carlos Quentin hit a solo homer for the White Sox, who have dropped two straight following a season-high 11-game winning streak.
Mark Buehrle (6-7), who was riding a three-start winning streak, lasted 6 1/3 frames, giving up three runs on 10 hits to suffer the loss. He also walked a season-high five batters and struck out two. He fell to 20-11 in 45 career games (43 starts) versus Kansas City.
The Royals scored all the runs they would need in the first inning. Jason Kendall singled and David DeJesus walked to put men on first and second with one out. Butler followed with an RBI single. Alberto Callaspo walked two batters later to load the bases for Aviles, who drove in a run with a base hit for a 2-0 lead.
After the White Sox stranded runners on second and third in the top of the second, Kansas City plated another run in the home half. Kendall worked a two- out walk, moved to second on DeJesus’ base hit, and scored on Butler’s single for a three-run margin.
Quentin’s solo homer to center in the fourth cut the gap to 3-1. Chicago, though, stranded men on first and second in the eighth.
The White Sox made things interesting in the ninth. Soria loaded the bases after striking out Alex Rios. Paul Konerko reached first on Yuniesky Betancourt’s fielding error, Quentin walked, and A.J. Pierzynski was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay and Alexei Ramirez both popped out to end the game.
The Royals lead the season series with the White Sox, 4-3…Chicago had won six in a row on the road…Konerko saw his 10-game hitting streak come to an end.