April 23, 2007
AP - Apr 23, 9:59 pm EDT
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Mark Buehrle didn't pitch another no-hitter. Paul Konerko made sure didn't need to.
Buehrle allowed five hits in seven innings, leading the Chicago White Sox over the Kansas City Royals 7-4 Monday night.
Konerko, who had not homered since opening day, hit a pair of two-run homers and drove in five runs for the White Sox, the 20th multihomer game of his career. He connected in the sixth off Gil Meche to tie the score 2-2, then homered in the eighth on David Riske's fifth pitch of the night for a 5-3 lead.
Last Wednesday against Texas, Buehrle pitched the major leagues' first no-hitter of the season. He didn't get very far in his quest to match Johnny Vander Meer's feat of consecutive no-hitters, allowing a two-out double in the second to Esteban German, who had entered 0-for-6 against him.
Buehrle had retired 38 of his previous 39 batters, allowing only a walk to the Rangers' Sammy Sosa -- who was picked off.
Buehrle (2-0) gave up two runs, struck out four and walked one, improving to 16-6 against the Royals. Bobby Jenks worked the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances, retiring David DeJesus on a game-ending, double-play grounder with two on.
By beating Jimmy Gobble (0-1), who allowed Jim Thome's double leading off the eighth, the White Sox won for the first time in five decisions against left-handers this year. Kansas City's bullpen dropped to 0-6 with five blown saves in nine opportunities.
Pinch-hitter Reggie Sanders cut the lead to 5-4 with an RBI single in the bottom half of the eighth. Thome hit an RBI single in the ninth and Konerko had a sacrifice fly.
Konerko's sixth-inning homer was his first in 64 at-bats, and they were the first earned runs Meche allowed in 22 innings. Meche gave up three runs and eight hits in seven innings, his ERA rising from 2.22 to 2.55.
John Buck's two-run homer in the fifth had put Kansas City ahead.
Rookie 3B Alex Gordon, who is struggling with a .136 average, was held out of the Royals' lineup. ... Konerko needs two extra-base hits to tie Nellie Fox and Minnie Minoso for fourth place (474) on the White Sox list.