The Royals (17-11, 10-5 home) maintained a 1-0 lead throughout most of the afternoon, after an RBI double by Billy Butler scored Alex Gordon in the first inning. The Royals outhit the White Sox (13-17, 6-10 away) 9-7.
Having Rodriguez didn’t make up for not having Derek Jeter or Mark Teixeira. In fact, Vernon Wells was the only Yankee swinging a hot bat with a three-hit night, although his teammates had six combined themselves. But with Pettitte giving up seven runs, no amount of offense would have been enough.
Hiroki Kuroda gave a valiant effort on the mound, but once again still was not quite as good as the Yankees would have liked for him to be. He worked out of multiple jams, but still gave up four runs on seven hits and a pair of walks over 6 1/3 innings and did not factor into the decision.
Another guy who will get a look just because of his status on the 40-man. Acquired from the Braves in the glorious Scott Linebrink trade this offseason, Cofield hasn’t pitched above double-A in his career. Furthermore, he hasn’t exactly pitched well in double-A, posting a 4.29 FIP with Mississippi in 2010 that hardly inspires confidence.
With Wood pitching Sunday night for the Cubs in the final game of the first half and Crain currently injured, the introductions likely would be the highlight of the night for Chicago. But then, enter lefty sale jerseys from the bullpen. Sale entered the game as a relief pitcher after the starter of the game Max Scherzer only pitched one inning. Sale then pitched the second and third innings facing six batters and retiring all six.
Two huge holes remain in Boston’s lineup with David Ortiz listed as doubtful and Kevin Youkilis still on the DL with a sore back. None the less, the Red Sox continue to lead the Majors in hitting with a .278 team batting average and scoring with an average of 5.32 runs a game.
Brad Ziegler finished the year with a 3.26 ERA, but that number doesn’t tell an honest truth. Ziegler struggled, taking a bullpen-high seven losses on the year, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio was downright mediocre: he struck out only 41 batters in 60 2/3 innings, while walking 28 batters. Putting that many batters on base with a free pass is a big problem for a reliever.