CHICAGO (AP) - Boxes were scattered around Chicago's clubhouse as players began packing Friday for an offseason not far away. After a listless loss to the Kansas City Royals, vacation can't come soon enough for the underachieving White Sox.
``Obviously it's been a very tough season for everyone,' manager Ozzie Guillen said before the White Sox were routed 11-1 by the Royals.
The White sox struggled again against veteran lefty Bruce Chen. And young White Sox right-hander Zach Stewart, who pitched a one-hit shutout earlier this month against the Twins, was rocked for four homers.
Friday night's defeat left the White Sox at 76-81, ensuring they won't have a winning record despite a $127 million payroll.
``It's been a disappointing season. We had a club coming out of spring training that we thought could do some special things and we haven't gotten the consistent play we had hoped for,' general manager Ken Williams said before this lopsided loss.
``We'll just regroup after the season and get after it again.'
Whether Guillen, who wants an extension and has one year left on his contract, returns is to be determined.
Either way, he'd love to not see Chen for a while.
``Bruce has been good against us and pitching well all year long. Now it's no mystery,' Guillen said. ``He owns the White Sox.'
KC had a 7-0 lead after four innings and 9-0 after five, making it easier for Chen (12-8), who finished 3-1 against the White Sox this season, all on Chicago's home field.
His only loss came to the White Sox came last Sunday in KC when Chicago got nine hits and four runs off him in when he gave up nine hits and four runs in 5 1-3 innings.
``Last time we handled him very well. But this time you are up by six runs, it's an easier way to pitch and you are allowed to make a mistake and get away with it,' Guillen said.
The only hit allowed by Chen through the first six innings was an infield single by Dayan Viciedo in the second when he hit a grounder in the hole that third baseman Mike Moustakas fielded, spun around and threw high to first. Paul Konerko hit his 31st homer in the seventh inning.
Chen walked one and struck out four.
The Royals' Eric Hosmer hit a solo shot in the second, his 19th of the season. Salvador Perez had a three-run drive in the fourth, his third of the season, and Alcides Escobar followed one batter later with his fourth homer of the season. Jeff Francoeur connected for his 20th of the season, a two-run shot, in the fifth.
``It's very frustrating. ... it just makes you sick all the way around,' Stewart said. ``Even the good pitches, they put good swings on them.'
Stewart (2-6) gave up 12 hits and nine runs and also committed two errors in four-plus innings. He lost for the third straight time since pitching his gem against the Twins on Sept. 5. He'd hoped to make a strong bid for a slot in the rotation next season.
Guillen said it was easy to explain Stewart's poor outing.
``You don't bring your best stuff, that's exactly what is going to happen,' Guillen said.
NOTES: Everett Teaford (2-0) will pitch in Saturday's game against the White Sox. John Danks (7-12) goes for Chicago. Teaford beat the White Sox last Saturday in KC, giving up four hits and a run over six innings. Danks is 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA in three starts against the Royals this season and 4-0 with a 2.63 ERA in his career against the Royals.
The Associated Press News Service
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