KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The box score called it a passed ball, which it was. Ervin Santana's pitch, which was supposed to be away but came inside, glanced off catcher Sal Perez's glove and skipped back to the wall behind home plate.
And promptly disappeared.
It was as if time stopped. Perez couldn't chase it because it wasn't there to be found, hidden somewhere in the backstop's padding. Santana could only wait helplessly at home plate for a throw that never came. And White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, standing between third base and home, got past his initial confusion and walked across the plate to score Chicago's second run of the game.
It was one of those nights for the Royals. It's wrong to call Konerko's run the decisive one in a game Kansas City lost 2-0, but you never know what might have been had the deficit been a single run. And an opportunity to gain a game on Detroit was lost.
Just like the ball.