CHICAGO (AP) — There wasn't much else the Kansas City Royals could do afterward except give credit where it was due. The way Chris Sale dominated them, it wasn't hard to see why they sent it his way.
Sale pitched eight solid innings, Paul Konerko and Gordon Beckham homered late, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Royals 4-2 on Monday night.
"If he stays healthy he has a chance to win a bunch of ballgames in his career," Jeff Francoeur said.
He'll get no argument from Alex Gordon.
"He has great stuff. We knew we were in for a battle," he said.
Konerko tied it leading off the seventh and Beckham gave the White Sox a 3-2 lead with a solo shot in the eighth off Luis Mendoza. Kevin Youkilis added an RBI double in the inning, and the White Sox won for the 10th time in 13 games.
A.J. Pierzynski added two hits, and although he didn't go deep after tying a club record with homers in five straight games, he did drive in the first run with a double in the second.
Sale (13-3), meanwhile, looked sharp on nine days' rest, allowing two runs and eight hits while striking out seven without a walk. He gave up solo homers to Francoeur and Billy Butler, but otherwise kept the Royals off balance, with his fastball consistently in the mid-90s mph.
Sale was passed over during the last time through the rotation. The White Sox wanted to give him more rest in his first year as a starter.
"It gives you a little bit more time to recover and catch your breath, I guess you could say, but you've still got a couple of months left," Sale said. "You've just got to keep going with it."
Addison Reed worked the ninth for his 20th save in 23 chances, retiring Eric Hosmer on a double-play grounder with runners on first and second to end the game.
Mendoza (5-8) gave up seven hits and four runs in 7 1-3 innings.
Butler made it 2-1 in the seventh with his 21st homer. Konerko tied it in the bottom half with a line drive to left that just cleared the wall and landed in the bullpen.
The Royals had runners on first and third in the eighth, but Sale got out of it. Shortstop Alexei Ramirez made a diving stop on Gordon's soft liner. Sale tagged out Tony Abreu trying to score on Alcides Escobar's safety squeeze and struck out Lorenzo Cain on three pitches, pumping his left fist on the way to the dugout.
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