SN Report: Offense Quiet in Season Opener

Whether it was bad swings or good pitching, the White Sox' offense was nonexsistence in the season opener on Monday afternoon as they were shutout 3-0 by the Kansas City Royals and pitcher Runelvys Hernandez.

Sox' starter Mark Buehrle kept the game close, giving up two runs on six hits in seven innings, but it wasn't enough to make up for the offense which managed just three hits and six baserunners total. Hernandez struck out five in six innings.

The Royals scored their first two runs of the game in the second inning. Brandon Berger led-off with a walk, followed by a Ken Harvey double down the left field line to put both men in scoring position for Angel Berroa, who drove in Berger with a single to right. A sacrifice fly to center field drove in the second run.

The Royals were a step away from adding a third run in the inning if not for the defense of the Sox. Royals' second baseman Carlos Febles hit a double off the way in right-center field. Aaron Rowand bare-handed the ball and threw it to D'Angelo Jimenez, who made a perfect throw to home to get the sliding Angel Berroa.

D'Angelo Jimenez made another defensive stop in the sixth. With Harvey on second, reaching on a double, Brent Mayne hit a grounder up the middle that was stopped by a diving Jimenez. With Harvey stagnant half-way between third and home, Jimenez threw it to Joe Crede at third base, forcing Harvey home for an easy throw out.

The final defensive highlight of the game came in the seventh when centerfielder Aaron Rowand went all out on a Michael Tucker fly ball to right-center, making an over-the-shoulder catch. Rowand went 0-4 at the plate.

The Sox had a golden opportunity to make things happen in the seventh off reliever Jason Grimsley. After Frank Thomas walked to start the inning, Magglio Ordonez hit a hard grounder to third off the glove of the diving Joe Randa and into left field. Thomas reached third on the play, putting men at the corners with no outs. Paul Konerko then hit a soft grounder to Randa at third who threw out Thomas at home. Carlos Lee, who believed he had a 1-1 count when it was really 0-2, struck out along with Joe Crede to end the inning.

Buehrle left after seven innings, being replaced by Tom Gordon who gave up a run. A Mike Sweeney double, a wild pitch and a passed ball led to the run. Gordon finished the inning.

After Grimley's two scoreless innings of work, hard-throwing righty Mike MacDougal pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.

Thomas was at DH for the game, going 1-2 with two walks and an opposite field single. Ordonez went 1-4 and Joe Crede 1-3. Jose Valentin went 0-4 at shortstop with a fielding error in the third inning, while Jimenez was 0-4. Sandy Alomar struggled both at the plate and behind it, going 0-3 with a passed ball and rough eighth with reliever Tom Gordon.

The Sox have off on Tuesday and will continue the series on Wednesday, as Bartolo Colon will take the mound against 23-year-old lefty Jeremy Affeldt. The game will start at 1:05 p.m. CT and will telivised on Fox Sports Net Chicago.


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