White Sox beat Royals 5-4 on balk in 9th inning

CHICAGO (AP) — A.J. Pierzynski scored the winning run on a balk called on Aaron Crow in the ninth inning and the Chicago White Sox beat Kansas City 5-4 on Monday night after the Royals had tied it on a homer first ruled a triple in the top of the inning.

With the Royals trailing 4-3 in the ninth, Eric Hosmer led off with what appeared to be a homer off White Sox closer Sergio Santos (3-3). Second base umpire Alfonso Marquez signaled the ball was in play as Hosmer advanced to third. Royals manager Ned Yost contested the call, and the umpire reviewed it. Moments after the review, Marquez signaled a homer.

Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning for Chicago, and Ramon Castro hit a solo shot in the fifth.

Pierzynski led off the ninth with a pinch-hit single off Crow (2-2) in the ninth, then advanced to second on Gordon Beckham’s sacrifice bunt. Pierzynski moved to third on a wild pitch. After striking out Mark Teahen, Crow walked pinch-hitter Juan Pierre. With Dunn up and facing a 1-0 count, Pierzynski distracted Crow enough for him to motion to third while on the rubber, prompting players in the White Sox’s dugout to jump up and plate Ed Rapuano then called a balk, giving Chicago the win.

Yost argued the call with Rapuano before heading back to the dugout.

With Kansas City holding a 3-2 lead, Crow allowed a leadoff single to Brent Morel in the eighth and Dunn followed with his eighth homer of the season on a 1-1 pitch to right field to put the White Sox ahead 4-3.

Dunn, who came in hitting .165, received a loud ovation from the 31,077 fans in attendance — prompting a curtain call. It was his first home run since June 12 against Oakland. He also passed Joe DiMaggio on the career list, putting him at 77 with 362 career homers.

But Santos couldn’t hold the lead after allowing the homer to Hosmer in the ninth. It was Santos’ third blown save of the season.

Mark Buehrle allowed three runs on seven hits over seven innings for the White Sox, who began a stretch of 19 consecutive games against AL Central division rivals. Last season, the Chicago finished 32-40 against AL Central opponents and are 7-11 against the division this season.

Jeff Francis allowed two runs over on seven hits over six innings. He struck out four without allowing a walk for the Royals, who have lost six of seven.

After scoring 16 runs in a win at Colorado on Sunday, the Royals’ offense got started early against Buehrle. With one out in the first, Melky Cabrera singled, then Billy Butler hit a liner off Buehrle’s left hand, Beckham fielded it and had enough time to get Butler at first. Buehrle didn’t need any attention after taking the ball off his hand, but he gave up a two-run homer to Jeff Francoeur two pitches later. It was Francoeur’s 12th.

The Royals added to their lead against Buehrle in the third inning on Butler’s RBI single.

Notes: Royals LF Alex Gordon, who left Sunday’s after getting hit by a pitch in the left knee, was available to pinch hit and was expected back in the lineup Wednesday.

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