KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The White Sox can’t seem to stop the bleeding.
The Kansas City Royals inflicted another painful wound on the White Sox on Friday night as they rallied from four runs down for a 7-5 win in front of 28,508 at Kauffman Stadium. Eric Hosmer homered and had a go-ahead, two-run single to send the White Sox to their 12th loss in 16 games. Melky Cabrera had a grand slam, and Todd Frazier also homered during a five-run rally off Royals starter Danny Duffy that had the White Sox well positioned to win. But the White Sox bullpen couldn’t hold the lead as Dan Jennings, Matt Albers and Zach Duke combined to allow three runs in a four-run, seventh-inning Kansas City rally.
The White Sox had to be in high spirits after the sixth inning.
Not only did they finally crack Duffy, who retired the first 16 batters he faced, they broke the game wide open.
Those warm and fuzzy feelings didn’t last very long.
White Sox starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez, who celebrated his 32nd birthday Friday, gave up an opposite-field solo homer to Hosmer in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 5-2 game. Gonzalez, who retired 16 of 19 after he allowed a pair of singles to start the game, exited after Brett Eibner’s one-out double in the seventh.
Then all hell broke loose.
Jennings walked Jarrod Dyson and gave way to Albers, who allowed an infield single to Alcides Escobar to load the bases. Rookie Whit Merrifield followed with a two-run single to make it 5-4. After an umpire review, Escobar and Merrifield advanced into scoring position as Albers uncorked a wild pitch. Escobar originally had been ruled out, but review officials overturned the call. Albers struck out Lorenzo Cain and gave way to Duke, as the White Sox opted to face Hosmer with first base open. Duke jumped ahead 0-1 in the count, but Hosmer got enough of a slider off the outside corner to dump it into left for a two-run single.
The White Sox had two aboard in the eighth inning against Kelvin Herrera. But he struck out Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton to strand the pair, and Wade Davis pitched a perfect ninth to close out the game.
After a miserable recent run, the White Sox offense showed signs of life against Duffy in the sixth. Trailing 1-0, Avisail Garcia singled to right with one out, and Dioner Navarro dumped a single into shallow right as well. Austin Jackson also singled to right to load the bases for Cabrera, who jumped on the first pitch he saw for a grand slam — his first since July 29, 2011, when he played for Kansas City. Frazier gave his team a four-run lead with a 413-foot homer to left, his 15th.
Though he was working on a pitch count of 75 to 80, Duffy’s start had all the makings of a special one for 16 outs.
He overpowered White Sox hitters early, striking out four of the first six batters he faced. Rarely did he go deep into any counts, save for at-bats by Jackson and Abreu, both of which resulted in fly ball outs. And none of the contact Duffy induced was hard, either.
For five innings, Duffy was about as perfect as they get against a listless White Sox offense.
Even the way his sixth and final inning began made it look like Duffy had some mojo. Jimmy Rollins hit a hard ground ball that bounced away from Kansas City third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert. But Cuthbert stayed with the play, grabbed the ball and fired in time to retire Rollins.
Each week, CSNChicago.com takes a look at the injury report from both the Cubs and White Sox, presented by Service King.
Kevan Smith has had a roller coaster of a month, and it's back on the downfall. On Tuesday, Smith returned to Triple-A Charlotte after missing about a month due to a back injury. But after the game, Smith went back on the DL with an undisclosed injury. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run.
Smith was promoted to the main roster on April 24 to replace catcher Alex Avila, who went on the 15-day DL with a sore hamstring. The following day, Smith suffered a sacroiliac joint dysfunction injury during warm-ups without making his MLB debut.
Nate Jones returned to action last week after missing a few games due to a bruised foot caused by a line drive. Jones made three consecutive appearances from May 21-23. In those games, he pitched a combined 1.2 innings and only allowed one hit while striking out three.
Jake Petricka (right hip impingement) and Daniel Webb (right elbow flexor inflammation) are still on the 15-day disabled list. There's no timetable for their returns. On Saturday, manager Robin Ventura said Petricka was still battling soreness in his hip.
The Cubs dodged a serious injury bullet a week ago when Jason Heyward crashed into the wall in San Francisco. The Cubs outfielder wound up missing just three-plus games and returned to the lineup Tuesday against his old team in St. Louis.
Heyward went just 1-for-10 with a walk and two strikeouts in the final two games against the Cardinals, but his re-insertion into the lineup has helped create a butterfly effect with the Cubs lineup. Heyward did make his one hit count — a two-run double in the Cubs' 9-8 victory Wednesday.
The Cubs got more positive outfield news when Matt Szczur was activated from the disabled list Saturday and has looked completely over his hamstring issue.
Szczur has appeared in every game since his return, going 3-for-6 with a triple, two RBI and two runs scored. He his now hitting .389 with a 1.089 OPS on the season.
That's how David Ross announced his presence to the Chicago media Friday afternoon, almost four hours after hitting his 100th career homer.
Ross' three-run blast in the fourth inning (before a pair of rain delays lasting 93 minutes) helped lead the Cubs and Jon Lester to a 6-2 victory Friday.
"It was just my personal thing," Ross said. "It was nice to have a nice, round number. One hundred in The Show is pretty cool for me. But it affected the game and impacted the game, so it's even better. It wasn't just a blowout or a meaningless homer when you're down a bunch."
The Cubs have been counting down to 100 since last season and finally got to celebrate with "Grandpa Rossy," who sported a Papa Bear T-shirt after the game.
Joe Maddon gave Ross a bottle of wine and Lester gifted his personal catcher a bottle of champagne in a box signed by everybody on the roster.
"The boys were excited. I was excited," Ross said. "I think my favorite part while all this has been going on is rounding second base and looking in the dugout. Makes me smile every time seeing everybody so happy for me and counting down for me.
"They're as happy as I am, so that makes me feel good."
As soon as Ross made contact, he knew it was gone, slowly walking a few steps and uncharacteristically admiring it a bit before beginning his trot.
He got a curtain call, too, and he acknowledged hitting his 100th blast was extra special coming in front of the Cubs fanbase.
"I run down in the outfield before the game and ever since I hit 99, that's all I hear: 'Hit a homer, Grandpa,' I mean, nobody even knows my first name anymore," Ross joked.
"It was cool. There was even a David Ross sign a little girl had today. I mean, who doesn't like seeing that? Stuff like that is just really cool."
It was Ross' fourth homer of the season and he now has 17 RBI and an .828 OPS. Compare that to the 39-year-old's one homer, nine RBI and .519 OPS last season.
"It's awesome," Lester said. "Obviously, going into last year, we all knew where he was. I did. He'll admit: He didn't swing the bat like he wanted to last year.
"It's just nice to see him feel comfortable and be the old Rossy. I'm glad he did it. It's kinda nice he did it the day I was pitching to add a little bit to it."
Ross' 100th homer ball wound up glancing off the Nuveen sign in left field and wound up on Waveland. The fan that ended up with it only asked for a photo with Ross in return.
"Who wants a picture of me?!" Ross laughed. "I'm surprised he didn't ask for [Kris Bryant] or [Anthony Rizzo] or something like that. Again, yay me!"