CHICAGO(AP) If the
Chicago White Sox
don't win the AL Central, they'll look back upon their inability to handle the last-place
Kansas City Royals
''It is frustrating, disheartening,''
said Tuesday night after his team lost to Kansas City for the seventh time this season. The 5-4 defeat dropped Chicago three
games behind first-place Detroit.
''All you can do is keep grinding,'' Konerko said. ''With the amount of time left, you can overcome that. But if you start
thinking about what could have been ... ''
doubled three times, had two RBIs and scored the go-ahead run on
's fifth-inning single for the Royals, who are 7-7 against the
- and 40-65 against the rest of the major leagues.
Kansas City also got a two-run homer from
and a big boost from Robinson Tejada, who pitched three dominant innings in relief of
Butler became the first player this season to have three doubles in each of three games. He also did it on July 8 and Aug.
8. The 23-year-old first baseman has 41 doubles, second most in the majors.
''Billy always looks like he's in control at the plate,'' Royals manager Trey Hillman said. ''I think his power is going to
keep developing. Forty-something doubles with six weeks left is pretty impressive.''
All three of Tuesday's doubles came off
, who blew a 4-1 lead in his return to the team he helped win the 2005 World Series.
Garcia (0-1), whose Game 4 victory completed the Series sweep of Houston, allowed five runs on seven hits in 4 1-3 innings
in his season debut. Though the 32-year-old right-hander worked very slowly, repeatedly fell behind batters and topped out
at 90 mph, manager
said he was ''satisfied.''
''That first game out, it's not easy,'' Guillen said. ''He handled it real well. He left a couple pitches up in the strike
zone but besides that, I liked what I saw.''
Injured for most of the last 2 1-2 years after the
traded him to Philadelphia, Garcia rejoined the organization June 8 after the
New York Mets
He is competing against
, another member of the stellar 2005 rotation, to be the No. 5 starter when newcomer
comes off the disabled list next week. Contreras, scheduled to start Wednesday's series finale, is 0-4 with a 7.62 ERA in
his last six outings.
A.J. Pierzynski's first-inning single put the
up 1-0. After the Royals tied it in the third on Butler's second double, Chicago went ahead 4-1 in the bottom of the inning
when Konerko homered and
added a two-run shot.
Garcia promptly surrendered Buck's homer in the fourth to make it 4-3. In the fifth,
singled and scored on Butler's third double, chasing Garcia. Reliever
gave up Callaspo's RBI single.
Bloomquist, the Royals' right fielder, cut down Chicago's bid for a tying run in the last of the fifth, throwing Quentin out
at the plate.
Meche (6-9) labored through five innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and five walks but stranded nine runners to wiggle
out of several jams.
''He was on the ropes,'' Konerko said. ''We had a chance to knock him out and we didn't do it.''
Tejada then struck out five while allowing no hits and one walk over the next three innings before
worked a scoreless ninth for his 20th save in 22 opportunities.
''You never know which Tejada you're getting,'' Hillman said of the hard-throwing reliever, who threw six pitches, all balls,
in his previous outing. ''I'm glad we got the guy we got today.''
made room for Garcia by placing OF Dewayne Wise on the DL with a shoulder strain. ... Struggling 3B
, a top prospect since the Royals drafted him second overall in 2005, was demoted to Triple-A Omaha. Kansas City activated
from the DL. ... Saying hard-hit RHP
no longer would be the eighth-inning setup man,
would get most such assignments. ... After missing his second straight game with a sore left heel, Chicago DH
is expected to play Wednesday.