Royals beat White Sox to close positive season
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Salvador Perez went 3-for-4 and homered for the second straight game as the Kansas Royals clipped the Chicago White Sox, 4-1, in the season finale from U.S. Cellular Field.
Brett Hayes also homered in the triumph while Johnny Giavotella had a pair of hits and two walks. Bruce Chen (9-4) capped an impressive season by allowing a run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings to pick up the win. Greg Holland ran into trouble in the ninth, but got out of it unscathed for his 47th save.
Kansas City finished with 86 wins, its most since winning 92 games in 1989. The young Royals were in the hunt all season long, but were eliminated from postseason contention following a 6-0 loss to the Mariners with four games left in the season. Despite a 6-22 stretch in May and early June, Kansas City went 19-9 in the 28 games prior to the loss in Seattle.
"It's a good start. I think we're making progress as an organization," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Ten games over .500 is a significant first step and now we need to continue to build on that."
Alexei Ramirez had two of the six White Sox hits, including his sixth home run of the season, as Chicago lost for the 23rd time in its last 30 games.
Jose Quintana (9-7) pitched seven innings for the Sox and was tagged for four runs on six hits.
Paul Konerko, who has spent the last 15 years in a White Sox uniform, started the game but was removed after the first inning to a roaring ovation from the home crowd. Konerko will be a free agent this summer and may have played his final game in Chicago.
"It always feels good," Konerko said of the ovation he received. "The fans here have treated me great over the years."
Perez opened the scoring in the fourth with his two-run shot to left following a Giavotella walk for an early 2-0 advantage.
Ramirez cut into the deficit with a solo shot to left to start the home half of the inning.
Hayes' two-run blast in the top of the seventh inning provided insurance for the Royals' bullpen, which kept the Sox off the board for the duration of the contest.
Holland took the mound to begin the ninth and retired Conor Gillaspie on a lineout before loading the bases on singles by Avisail Garcia and Dayan Viciedo around a Jordan Danks walk. Holland settled down and struck out Gordon Beckham and Marcus Semien to secure the win.
The White Sox finished the season with 98 or more losses for just the fifth time in franchise history ... Chicago fell to 37-44 at home this season, the fourth time since 1991 they finished with a losing record at home ... The Sox belted 19 homers over their final 13 games ... The Royals improved their win total by 14 games after finishing 72-90 a season ago ... Kansas City went 0- for-8 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base.
09/29 21:09:43 ET