More Errors=Another Loss

Errors, no energy and a blown lead usually ends in a loss, as the Sox fell to 0-4 against the Royals and 7-6 on the season with Tuesday nights 8-5 defeat at U.S. Cellular Field.

Along with that, the game experienced another attack on the field, a slightly off Mark Buehrle, and slightly mishandled bullpen, with the only bright sides being the weather and play of Armando Rios.

Rios, in his second straight start and fifth of the season, went 2-3 with two doubles, three RBIs and a walk.

His first two RBIs came in the first -- the Sox down 1-0 going into the inning after a Joe Randa first-inning home run -- with a two-run double. Jose Valentin walked, Frank Thomas was hit by a pitch, and Paul Konerko walked to load the bases for Carlos Lee, who walked to bring in the first run. Rios then doubled, putting the Sox up 3-1.

Rios doubled again in the third, scoring Magglio Ordonez, who singled and stole second earlier in the inning and reached third on a Lee single.

Buehrle worked his way out of trouble in the fourth, putting two men on with one out, but ended the inning with a double play. The fifth inning had different results.

Catcher Brent Mayne doubled to leadoff the inning, but was thrown out at third on a grounder to Valentin at short. With a man on and one out, Michael Tucker singled to bring up Joe Randa.

That is when the defense kicked in. Randa hit a line out to Valentin who preceeded to throw the ball to right field while trying to double up Febles at second. Febles scored on the play and Tucker reached third.

Mike Sweeney then hit a ground-rule double to center, scoring Tucker and cutting the defecit to 4-3. Only one run was unearned.

Buehrle was pulled with two men on and two outs in the seventh for Tom Gordon, who continued his control-woes, walking the only batter he faced. Kelly Wunsch came in to end the inning with a groundout. Buehrle struck out six and gave up three runs (two earned) in 6 2/3 innings.

The Royals tied the game in the eighth at 4-4, once again with the help of the Sox defense. Rick White started the inning but was replaced by Damaso Marte with two outs and one man on. Mayne came through with a single just over the glove of Konerko at first and into right. Rontrez Johnson, who pinch-ran for Ken Harvey, held up at third, but ran for home after Konerko missed the throw from Ordonez. Konerko recovered but it wasn't in time to get Johnson out.

The ugliness went for nothing in the next inning as Thomas homered to left off reliever Albie Lopez to put the Sox up 5-4. Thomas, who met with former-hitting coach Walt Hriniak before the game, went 1-3 with two runs.

A flashback to last year's tragic incident involving a fan attacking Royals' first base coach Tom Gamboa happened after the inning. This time, first base umpire Laz Diaz was attacked, but the fan was quickly reprimanded by security, with the help of Royals' first baseman Mike Sweeney and rightfielder Brandon Berger. Other fans ran onto the field earlier in the game.

Up 5-4, the Sox couldn't hold on in the ninth. Billy Koch came in and gave up a single to Randa and a two-run home run to Sweeney, putting the Royals up 6-5. Koch then walked Ibanez, gave up a double to Johnson, and a two-run single to Berger. Gary Glover came in to end the inning.

Rios and Joe Crede both walked to start the ninth inning off closer Mike MacDougal, but the Sox couldn't capitalize, striking out twice before Rios was thrown out at third to end the game.

The Sox will play game two of the series on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. CT. Jon Garland will go up against the undefeated Runelvys Hernandez (3-0).


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