CHICAGO (AP) -The Chicago White Sox, called ``underachievers' by general manager Ken Williams before the game, went from the down of blowing a three-run lead in the eighth inning, to the up of squeaking out a win against the AL Central's worst team.
Scott Podsednik had a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning and A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run homer in the seventh to help the White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 8-7 on Monday night.
With the score tied at 7, Alex Rios drew a leadoff walk from Royals reliever Roman Colon (1-3) in the eighth. After a sacrifice and another out, Podsednik singled to center off Kansas City left-hander John Bale to give Chicago the lead.
The White Sox rebounded after reliever Scott Linebrink gave up a game-tying three-run homer to pinch-hitter Mike Jacobs.
``After that inning when Linebrink gave up the home run I didn't see anybody (in the dugout) with long faces. Only one guy, Linebrink was disappointed about the inning,' White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. ``As soon as we got to the dugout everyone was cheering that was a good sign about the ballclub.'
Jayson Nix hit a two-run homer for the White Sox, who are two games behind first-place Detroit in the Central.
White Sox starter Mark Buehrle again failed to win for the first time since pitching a perfect game against Tampa Bay on July 23. He has a five-game winless streak.
Buehrle allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings.
``Buehrle was in trouble in almost every inning. He ran into trouble almost all game, but in the meanwhile he got some big double plays. That's him, when he's in trouble he puts the ball in play and the double play is his best friend,' Guillen said.
Buehrle was in line for the win until Linebrink gave up a 7-4 lead. After recording the first two outs of the eighth inning, Linebrink gave up consecutive walks before Jacobs tied it with a homer to right. It was his 16th of the season and the first pinch-hit homer of the season for the Royals.
Linebrink (3-5) finished the inning by getting Josh Anderson looking.
Bobby Jenks pitched a scoreless ninth for his 25th save in 29 chances.
Yuniesky Betancourt hit a two-run homer for the Royals, who have lost four of six.
Podsednik is hitting .327 against left-handers this season, but Royals manager Trey Hillman decided to bring in Bale, a left-hander.
``I liked the matchup. I liked the matchup. I'd do it again. Take my chances with it. But once he failed behind. He just left the pitch out over the plate a little too much,' Hillman said.
After Royals starter Brian Bannister walked Jermaine Dye in the seventh, Pierzynski added to a 5-4 lead with his 13th homer.
``In a spring training, we talked about not trying to do too much, try not to hit home runs. I've been pretty fortunate. Once you get confident you never know what can happen,' said Pierzynski, who is hitting .314.
For the second time in the game, Bannister couldn't hold the lead.
With a 4-3 lead in the sixth, he hit Carlos Quentin with a pitch, then Rios hit a ball into the gap in right-center. Right fielder Mark Teahen had the ball get by him, allowing Quentin to score from first and Rios to get to third. Rios was credited with a double. Alexei Ramirez followed with a sacrifice fly to give Chicago the lead.
``I'm fighting my way through this. My team played awesome behind me tonight. They hit the ball, they fielded the ball,' Bannister said. ``I'm going to continue to fight and I know I'll get through this.'
Bannister allowed seven runs, six earned, and 10 hits in seven innings.
The start of the was delayed 58 minutes by rain.
NOTES: Veteran RHP Freddy Garcia will make his season debut for the White Sox. Garcia signed as a free agent on June 8 and was 0-1 with a 1.80 in four minor-league rehab starts. His last major league appearance was in a start for Detroit against the White Sox on Sept. 29, 2008. He allowed two runs and two hits in five innings.
The Associated Press News Service
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