CHICAGO – It took a hard slide for the Kansas City Royals to end their slide.
Mike Moustakas scored the tie-breaking run when he jarred the ball out of the catcher's glove in the ninth inning and the Royals beat the White Sox 2-1 Wednesday to take the three-game series.
Kansas City was victorious for the 12th time in their last 14 starts at U.S. Cellular Field. They also won consecutive games for the first time since July 2-4. They are 5-10 since then.
"I feel a lot better leaving Chicago than I did after the first game in Chicago," manager Ned Yost said of Monday’s game, which was the Royals’ fourth straight loss in seventh in eight games. "After the problems you run into, you can't lose faith. You can't start panicking. You can't think the ship is sinking. You've got to stay positive, because these guys have the ability to fight through it and get themselves out of it."
Moustakas triggered the decisive rally with a lead-off single off Zach Putnam (3-2), the last of four White Sox pitchers. Alcides Escobar bunted him over before Nori Aoki hit a flare to center field.
Adam Eaton's strong throw beat Moustakas to the plate, but catcher Tyler Flowers lost control of the ball upon contact. Flowers was charged with an error on the play.
"With the (new) rules, you kind of have to obey them," said Moustakas, who was at a four-inch, 30-pound disadvantage in the matchup. "You don't really think about trying to truck anybody. That's a big boy behind home plate there. It's probably not a good idea to go that route."
Flowers said he thought he had the ball.
"The replay looked like his knee on impact was literally straight into the webbing of the glove," Flowers said. "I wish I could have hung onto it, but there's nothing I could do different."
Yost liked the jump off second base as much as the slide itself.
"(Moustakas) got a tremendous read on Nori's base hit," Yost said. "If he doesn't get the read that he had, he doesn't have the opportunity to score."
Wade Davis (6-2) pitched one scoreless inning and Greg Holland retired the side in order in the ninth inning for his 26th save in 27 tries.
After the teams traded runs in the first inning, starters James Shields and Jose Quintana matched each other for six scoreless innings. Neither was overwhelming, but both were able to get key outs when necessary.
"(Shields) has the ability to make big pitches in crucial situations," Yost said. "That's why he's our ace."
Shields allowed six hits in seven innings He walked one batter and struck out seven.
"I just try to go out there every five days and pitch my game no matter where I'm at," Shields said.
In seven innings, Quintana gave up seven hits and two walks and struck out three batters. He remained winless (0-5) against the Royals in 11 career starts.
The no decision was the 36th for Quintana since the 2012 season, the most in the majors.
Chicago's Adam Dunn singled to tie the score at 1-1 in the first inning. The hit scored Jose Abreu, who had doubled with two outs. Abreu (sore back) was back in action after a one-game layoff.
Eric Hosmer's sacrifice fly gave the Royals a 1-0 lead.
Notes: No sooner did Hosmer return to the lineup after a two-game absence than he aggravated his bruised hand on a checked swing and left the game. His status was listed as day to day. ... Davis has not allowed an extra-base hit in 42 2/3 innings this season. .... Four hitless at-bats left White Sox 2B Gordon Beckham with a .132 batting average since June 9, when he was at his high point (.298) of the season. ... White Sox OF Dayan Viciedo was a late scratch because of tightness in his left hamstring. Moises Sierra replaced him in right field. ... White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper (vertigo) did not accompany the team to Minneapolis for the start of a seven-game road trip. Bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen assumed his duties for the third consecutive game.... White Sox OF Avasail Garcia (shoulder surgery) will accelerate his workout routine on the road trip. No timetable has been set for a rehab assignment. .... In his professional debut, White Sox first-round draft pick Carlos Rendon allowed one run in one inning of relief in the Arizona Rookie League on Tuesday. . . . Wednesday marked the five-year anniversary of Mark Buehrle's perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays at U.S. Cellular Field.