KANSAS CITY -- In a White Sox season already filled with plenty of misfortunes, Sunday's loss may sting the most.
Addison Reed blew his first save of the season and Brian Omogrosso surrendered a walk-off single to Alex Gordon as the White Sox lost, 6-5, to the Royals in 10 innings at Kauffman Stadium.
But it wasn't just the loss, which saw the Sox lose a two-run lead in the ninth, that hurt. It was how the White Sox lost that gnawed at the 12-17 team.
"You don't make them put it in play, and those are always what makes it tougher," manager Robin Ventura said. "I mean, they're always tough to lose, but you at least have to make them swing the bat and put it in play."
Ventura was referencing the 10th inning, in which Omogrosso walked George Kottaras to load the bases for Gordon, who drove a ball over the head of Alex Rios in right to end the game. Ventura decided to have Omogrosso intentionally Chris Getz (.229/.250/.357 in 75 PA), though, before Kottaras (.222/.364/.667 in 11 PA), taking the bat out of the former Sox second baseman's hands.
"George probably only had a handful of at-bats all year," Ventura explained. "Getz, you know he's gonna put it in play. You're getting one or the other. It's just one of those, you gotta make (Kottaras) swing the bat."
Reed struggled with his control, too, walking the first two batters he faced in the ninth. He retired Gordon and Alcides Escobar, though, to pull the White Sox one out away from a win with Billy Butler at the plate.
Butler worked the count to 3-2, and Reed threw a spinning, high slider that the Royals' DH ripped into the right field gap for a game-tying double.
"Just was wild, couldn’t get comfortable out there," Reed said. "I walked the first two guys and was all over the place. I was missing spots big-time. It wasn’t even close. I couldn’t get in rhythm. 3-2 pitch to Butler was a hanging slider, a terrible pitch."
It was Reed's first blown save in 11 chances this year, and prior to allowing two runs on Sunday he had only allowed two runs all season. Still, it came at an inopportune time after the White Sox mounted a comeback against Kansas City's solid bullpen.
Down 3-1 in the seventh, Hector Gimenez and Dewayne Wise each singled off Royals reliever Tim Collins to begin the frame. Alejandro De Aza followed that with a game-tying double just off the tip of Alex Gordon's glove, and later scored on a wild pitch by Aaron Crow. Rios capped the inning with his seventh home run of the season, a solo shot, to put the Sox up 5-3.
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Kansas City entered the game with the second-best bullpen ERA in the American League (2.67) and had allowed the fewest earned runs of any unit in baseball (20). The Sox bats didn't wake up against Wade Davis -- who entered Sunday with a 5.55 ERA and allowed one run in six innings -- but instead prevailed against one of baseball's better bullpens.
"It’s there," first baseman Paul Konerko said of the team's offensive ability. "When you don’t have the results for a while you can question it as a team or personally, so it’s nice to see some balls being hit around and runners scoring on doubles and stuff like that."
The Sox wound up going from having what would've been one of the team's better wins this year to one of their worst losses. While plenty of games remain on the schedule, the Sox don't think they can afford many more losses like the one they had Sunday.
"It is tough when you got the lead and lose games like this," Rios said. "These are the kind of games that will hurt you at the end."