Jeremy Guthrie held the White Sox to five hits, and Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez each hit solo home runs with two outs against rookie left-hander Jose Quintana as the Kansas City Royals defeated the White Sox 2-1 on Wednesday night before 25,151 fans at U.S. Cellular Field.
The loss was the second in a row for the Sox, who lost the series after winning four straight.
Right fielder Alex Rios sat out with a sore back, and first baseman Paul Konerko missed the game with a variety of nagging injuries, manager Robin Ventura said.
Guthrie (1-3) hadn't won this season and entered the game with a 7.71 ERA. Alejandro De Aza, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore back, had two of the Sox hits, both singles and one an infield hit.
The Royals' Greg Holland gave up a run in the ninth but earned his third save. Holland struck out Gordon Beckham, allowed a double to Adam Dunn (who struck out three times against Guthrie), struck out Kevin Youkilis and gave up an RBI single to A.J. Pierzynski before Alexei Ramirez hit a soft liner to short end the game. Youkilis, batting fourth for the first time as a White Sox with Konerko out, was 0-for-4.
Quintana (4-2), pitching on eight days rest, gave up five hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked two.
The Sox maintained their half-game lead on the Tigers in the AL Central. The Tigers lost to the Yankees.