White Sox slip past Royals
CHICAGO – Adam Dunn and Conor Gillaspie each hit two-run homers and the White Sox earned a 6-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.
After the game, the Sox announced they had fired hitting coach Jeff Manto.
Marcus Semien and Jordan Danks added solo homers for the Sox, while Mike Moustakas, Billy Butler and Salvador Perez went deep for the Royals.
All 11 runs in the game came via the home run.
The Sox (63-98) avoided a 100-loss season with one game remaining.
"Nobody wants that, the 100 losses," Sox manager Robin Ventura said before the game. "But it's not gonna make me feel any better to have 99 instead of 100 going into next year."
It was an unseasonably warm night and the ball was flying out as if it was the middle of summer.
The Sox opened the scoring with back-to-back homers from Semien and Danks in the bottom of the second inning for a 2-0 lead. It's the fourth time this season the Sox have hit back-to-back homers.
The advantage grew to 4-0 when Dunn smashed a two-run shot in the third. It was Dunn's 34th homer on the season.
Those homers were surrendered by Royals starter Yordano Ventura (0-1), who allowed four runs and six hits in four innings.
Sox starter Erik Johnson (3-2) didn't allow a hit through the first 4 1-3 innings.
Moustakas then homered to right field with one out in the fifth inning. Then in the top of the sixth, Butler hit a two-run shot to make it 4-3.
The home runs continued in the bottom of the seventh when Gillaspie smacked the first pitch from left-handed reliever Tim Collins just over the right-field fence for a two-run homer and a 6-3 cushion. Perez got the runs right back with a two-run shot in the eighth.
Sox closer Addison Reed worked a scoreless ninth for his 40th save.
NOTES: Assistant hitting coach Harold Baines will handle Manto's job in Sunday's season finale. Manto worked two years as the Sox's hitting coach. ... A day later, there was still a buzz about the unusual catch Royals left-fielder Alex Gordon made Friday on a fly ball by Alexei Ramirez. Gordon ran back and climbed the fence. But then he realized the ball wasn't going that far, so he jumped down and made a casual backhand catch. Many in the ballpark thought the ball was gone, including the person who sets off the fireworks celebrating every Sox homer. "I wasn't fooled by that," Ventura said. "I wasn't in charge of the fireworks. Believe it or not, we don't have a button controlling that in (the dugout)." ... Barring a last-second collapse of epic proportions, the Royals, who led the AL with a 2.55 bullpen ERA entering Saturday, will set a franchise mark. The previous low in a full season was 2.92 in 1976. . The series, and the season, wraps up Sunday with Sox LHP Jose Quintana (9-6) facing LHP Bruce Chen (8-4).