KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Todd Frazier got knocked down.
And then he got back up, had a few words for Royals pitcher Kelvin Herrera, and started a four-run rally that propelled the White Sox to a 7-4 victory Friday over the Kansas City Royals.
After the Royals, seemingly in deep trouble after Sox ace Chris Sale retired their first 13 batters with ease, erupted for a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 4-2 lead, Frazier doubled down the left-field line against Herrera to help the Sox regain the lead for Sale.
Frazier, who hit a game-winning homer against the hard-throwing right-hander on Aug. 9, stood and stared toward the mound before catcher Salvador Perez made peace. After the double, Alex Avila drove him in with a single, Avisail Garcia walked and Carlos Sanchez – the walk-off hero the day before – lifted a three-run homer inside the right-field foul pole.
Rejuvenated by a burst of runs he hadn’t seen in a while – Sale was 1-5 with a 2.47 ERA in 10 starts in the second half – Sale pitched a scoreless seventh, eighth and ninth as the Sox (72-75) won for the seventh time in 10 games while extending the Royals (74-73) losing skid to five.
Sale struck out 10 and finished his sixth complete game, the most by a Sox since Bartolo Colon had nine in 2003. He threw 119 pitches.
While that team on the North Side of town was celebrating a division championship, the White Sox were settling for an outside shot at finishing .500 and pursuing individual goals.
The American League Cy Young Award, for one, is in Sale’s reach, and the Sox ace looked like the best pitcher in the league for 4 1/3 perfect innings. And then seven of the next 10 batters got hits off Sale, who watched his 2-0 lead disappear by allowing two runs in the fifth and sixth innings, the key play an infield single to deep shortstop by Hunter Dozier that produced two runs when Tyler Saladino’s errant throw pulled first baseman Jose Abreu off the bag.
Melky Cabrera hit his 11th homer in the ninth inning for the Sox’ seventh run.