CHICAGO (AP) - Luke Hochevar felt as if he was putting the leadoff hitter ton base every inning
The Chicago White Sox started all but one frame by getting a man aboard against Hochevar as Chicago rallied for a 5-4 win over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.
``He did a good job of containing it for the most part, and pitched his way through it,' Royals manager Ned Yost. ``He wasn't as sharp as he has been the last couple times, but I thought he threw the ball quite well.'
Hochevar (8-9) allowed eight hits and five runs in six-plus innings. He had won four straight decisions and hadn't lost in eight starts dating to June 21.
``It was a grind tonight and sometimes you run into those,' he said. ``You just have to keep battling and keep executing and keep attacking the strike zone.'
Paul Konerko went deep in the third and Tyler Flowers added a solo shot in the fifth to help the White Sox snap a seven-game home losing streak. Flowers also had a single and a walk.
The White Sox rallied to take the lead with a two-run seventh. Carlos Quentin drove in the tying run with an RBI double into the left-field corner. Alejandro De Aza forced in the go-ahead run with a bases loaded walk.
Both runs came with Royals reliever Aaron Crow on the mound, but were charged to Hochevar, who issued a single and a walk to start the inning before being pulled.
``Instead of trying to get ahead and throw strikes, I was trying to throw pitches on the black,' Crow said. ``To be honest, my command's not good enough to be able to do that. I just have to focus on throwing to thirds of the plate as opposed to throwing to the black.'
It was Crow's first appearance at U.S. Cellular Field since a July 4 blowup where he allowed three runs and balked in the game-winner.
Crow said the two were isolated incidents.
``I was trying to do too much,' he said. ``Guys were on base and I was trying to be too perfect instead of just throwing strikes. I was trying to make perfect pitches from the get-go and that's what happens when you try to be too fine.'
The Royals overcame an early 2-0 deficit with a four-run rally in the fifth. Butler's two-out, two-run single put the Royals up 4-2.
Juan Pierre had three singles and scored two runs for Chicago.
Jesse Crain (7-3) got the win in relief after pitching out of starter Jake Peavy's jam in the seventh and his own in the eighth. Chris Sale got the last three outs, earning his fourth save.
Peavy allowed four runs and nine hits over 6 2-3 innings.
Butler stroked a two-run single for the Royals, and Johnny Giavotella added two hits and an RBI.
The start of the game was delayed by 1 hour, 25 minutes due to thunderstorms that moved through the Chicago area late Saturday afternoon. There was another delay of 42 minutes prior to the start of the eighth.
Butler got his chance when White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had Melky Cabrera intentionally walked in front of him to load the bases.
The White Sox cut the lead to 4-3 in the fifth on Flowers' first homer. For Flowers, who was playing in his 25th game over the last three seasons, it was also his first career RBI.
``It was huge,' said manager Ozzie Guillen. ``This kid, we know he can catch, but he contributed with the bat, that's a plus.'
With two outs and one on in the third, Konerko hit a 1-2 fastball into the left field seats, putting the White Sox up 2-0. It was Konerko's 27th homer and extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
After the Royals fell behind 5-4, they got the first two runners on in the eighth against Crain, but Salvador Perez bounced into an inning-ending double play.
Notes: The Royals and White Sox will play the finale of their three-game series on Sunday afternoon. Francis will start for Kansas City against Chicago's John Danks. Francis has allowed just four earned runs in 12 2-3 innings in two starts against Chicago this season but has ended up with no-decisions in both outings. Danks started the season 0-8 but is 4-1 with a 2.20 ERA in his last eight starts. The ERA is the fourth-lowest in baseball over that span. ... Kansas City's Melky Cabrera went 2 for 3. He's hitting .400 (60 for 150) since July 2, the best average in the major leagues. ... Mike Moustakas went 0 for 4 and fell to 0 for 31 against the White Sox in his first big-league season.
The Associated Press News Service
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