Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 9/18/12
(AP) -- The Chicago White Sox took command of the AL Central by winning a makeup game over their closest challenger in their final meeting of the season. They know the race is far from over, however, especially with a series looming against a team that regularly gives them trouble. The White Sox hope to carry some momentum from an emotional win to Tuesday night's opener against a Kansas City Royals team that has won seven of the last eight matchups. Monday's makeup from last Thursday's rainout with Detroit had huge playoff implications, as the Tigers could have pulled within one game of the White Sox (80-66) with a win. Chicago was down 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth, but Alex Rios' hard slide to break up a double play caused Omar Infante to throw wildly, allowing the tying and go-ahead runs to score in a 5-4 victory. The win moved the White Sox three ahead of the Tigers with 16 games remaining. "There is still a lot of time left for both teams. ... We just got to continue to grind and hope that what we do every day, day in and day out, is enough," second baseman Gordon Beckham said. "This is probably still going to go down to the wire." Based on the way things have gone against the Royals (66-80), it's entirely possible Chicago's lead could disappear by the time it leaves Kansas City on Thursday. Since Aug. 7, the White Sox are 1-7 versus Kansas City, and have lost all three games at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals, who lost 4-3 to the Angels on Sunday, are 14-16 against everyone else over that stretch. The White Sox have been able to take Royals pitchers deep in the last eight meetings, combining for 10 homers, but have only had four runners on base on those hits. They've totaled 22 runs - 2.8 per game. Chicago has hit one homer in 12 innings against Luke Hochevar (8-13, 5.46 ERA), who has given the White Sox trouble despite his overall struggles. Hochevar has the majors' third-highest ERA and owns a 9.00 ERA in his last four starts. Despite giving up five runs in five innings against Minnesota on Wednesday, he earned his first win since July 31 in the 10-5 final. "He (hadn't) won a game in his last seven starts and I wanted to get him over that hump," manager Ned Yost told the Royals' official website. "Sometimes, you've got to let 'em work through some things." Although it's been a struggle for the right-hander, he is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his two starts against the White Sox this season. He has done a good job of keeping many of Chicago's top hitters in check, as Paul Konerko is batting .222 with two homers in 27 career at-bats, Rios .190 in 21 at-bats and A.J. Pierzynski .105 in 19. The White Sox counter with Gavin Floyd (9-10, 4.59), who allowed three runs and four hits with seven strikeouts in 4 2-3 innings of Wednesday's 8-6 loss to the Tigers. That was his first outing since Aug. 26, after a stint on the disabled list with a right elbow strain. One of Floyd's best outings of the season came in his lone start against the Royals on May 11, when he allowed five hits in 7 2-3 innings of a 5-0 home win. He hasn't enjoyed as much success pitching at Kauffman, going 1-4 with a 6.38 ERA in seven starts there. Kansas City's Billy Butler is batting .316 with three homers and 10 RBIs against Chicago this year, but is 1 for 10 against Floyd since the start of last season.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Raisman blasts USA Gymnastics over abuse allegations

15-year-old Marta Kostyuk makes history at Australian Open

Report: Cavs front office communicating less with players, coaches

Sports world reacts to meteor lighting up Michigan sky

Celtics legend Jo Jo White passes away at 71 after battle with cancer

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rajon Rondo wonders why Isaiah Thomas deserves tribute from Celtics

Trevor Ariza reportedly viewed as Rockets' aggressor

Source: Lakers ‘frustrated’ Lonzo Ball won’t stand up to his father

Payton downplays taunting Vikings fans with ‘Skol’ clap

Harrison wants trade if Pirates are not committed to winning

Report: Steelers owner facing pressure to fire Mike Tomlin

The 'All Jolly Rogers at half-mast' quiz

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

Eight gutsy NBA trade deadline deals that would turn the tide

Best players to debut on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

2018 NFL Mock Draft

Grading the deal: Pirates trade Andrew McCutchen to Giants

The NBA's deep middle class emerges

Is Mike Moustakas that much better than Travis Shaw?

The 'It's a walk-off!" quiz

Sports & Politics Intersect: After all the bluster, college football sticks to sports

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

The 'All Jolly Rogers at half-mast' quiz

Best players to debut on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

The 'It's a walk-off!" quiz

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

Sports & Politics Intersect: After all the bluster, college football sticks to sports

The 'Home field disadvantage' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bruins, Flames, Jets are taking flight

Sabres look to be biggest sellers ahead of NHL trade deadline

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker