Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011Posted: 9:00 p.m. Updated: 10:37 p.m.
By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com White Sox InsiderFollow @CSNChi_Beatnik Box scoreValue survey: White Sox starters falter
KANSAS CITY Alex Rios strode to the plate to lead off the second inning and clocked a devastating blow into State Farms neighborhood at the back of the Kansas City Royals bullpen in left field.
The former five-tooler, slumping yearlong to the bane of Chicago White Sox fans everywhere, returned to the dugout to find manager Ozzie Guillen steadfastly in his fleet centerfielders corner greeting him with heart taps and sky kisses.
It could have been playful teasing, but Guillen is a man of steady and manifest faith, so more than likely the big smile masked a heartfelt prayer may we all return to the White Sox in 2012 and right this dastardly wrong we now are all enveloped All-In to.
Well, Rios would not have another hit in the game and the White Sox were again battered by the Royals burgeoning young offense, which dropped the Pale Hose 10-3 as Kauffman Stadium fireworks blared and fountains flared with little remorse.
Ozzie almost dropped his postgame meal when asked by a local reporter whether these first three K.C. romps were a product of prodigious offense.
When you score 30 runs in two games OK, 24 over three, what do you think is the reason? he queried with incredulity.
Zach Stewart, who was a near Mr. Perfecto just two starts ago, turned from hero to zero in a rough, five-inning, five-run, 11-hit effort.
They just battle, Stewart said, reporting that his pregame bullpen was excellent but on the mound, only his fastball was effective. Theyre always taking good swings, no matter what the count. They were putting pressure on me, and got to me in those last two innings.
And aside from Rios clout and another multi-hit (2-for-4) effort from Alexei Ramirez, there was little to highlight on the Chicago ledger.
The White Sox dropped to 73-78, reeling from a season high-tying, seven-game losing streak and finding themselves in need of a major rally to just to break even for the season. With four games still to play against Kansas City, its not completely out of the realm that the Royals just seven games behind Chicago in the standings passes the South Siders for third place in the Central.
Even Guillen himself realized that he would be on full clich alert with his rah-rah comments looking ahead to the series finale against Bruce Cy Chen, already 2-0 vs. Chicago this season.
Its not one thing people want to hear, but well get them tomorrow, Guillen smiled, to keep from shouting. Well be back here. Well try again tomorrow, and hopefully tomorrow works. When you give up 17, 18, 20 hits in one game like today, and you miss a few opportunities to score early in the game, I dont think we deserve to have a better outcome.
Guillen, still audibly fighting a head cold that has marred his entire K.C. stay, was quick to dress and head back to the team hotel, where he would spend a quiet evening with family, perhaps breaking away for a short stint for a couple of pops downstairs and a glance at the Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz fight.
And before he retires for the night, there may indeed be a little prayer. Not for tomorrows forecasted rain to abate, or a thugworthy rally off Chen, or even for that contract extension hes hoping so hard for. No, Ozzie may well pray for a simple thing: The chance to see the team thats lain dormant since April Fools Day rear its head and exact some punishment, just for one single day, before the dust settles for good on this sad season.
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.