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Royals Late Inning Magic Is Used Against Them; Fall To White Sox

Well it had to come to an end, it always does.

After jumping out to an early 5-0, many Kansas City Royals fans probably had hopes of a 5-1 start. That hope certainly became rock solid theory as the Royals held a three run lead with two out in the top of the ninth inning over the visiting Chicago White Sox, but the White Sox prevailed in the end, claiming a 10-7 12-inning victory of Kansas City this afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

Kansas City jumped on the Mark Buehrle and the Sox early, benefiting from less than stellar defense by leftfielder Lastings Milledge to take a 2-0 lead in the first. Melky Cabrera, last nights hero, singled with one out paving way for Alex Gordon to double and drive in the runner. Billy Butler then singled to score Gordon and the Royals were off and running. Gordon once again showed marked improvement at the plate the last few days, going 2-for-5 with a walk. 

The Royals scored three times in the bottom of the third, highlighted by an Alcides Escobar double off the wall in left that scored Jeff Francouer.

Things looked very promising for the home team as Royals starter Jeff Francis was cruising along for much of his outing until seemingly hitting fatigue in the seventh inning. On the day Francis went 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits, while striking out four. Needless to say, it was the best start by a Kansas City starter thus far on the young season.

Probably the biggest surprise of the season from the Royals end of things so far had been the steller play of the bullpen, and today they seemed to hit the wall after having been so rock steady through five games. When you have played so many extra inning games in just a short time, things like what happened today may rear their ugly head.

Up 6-3 and with two out, Royals closer Joakim Soria four hits and a walk, allowing the White Sox to take a 7-6 lead on a Carlos Quentin double which scored Alex Rios from third.

The Royals once again showed the fight we have grown accustom to seeing from them so far though, as Kansas City scored a run to tie it in the bottom of the ninth off White Sox closer Matt Thornton. The key hit was a Kila Ka`aihue double which scored Jarrod Dyson, who had pinch ran and stole second base previously.

Kansas City had their chances in the bottom of the 11th, as the Royals had a first and third situation with only one out, but Chris Sale was able to strike out Francoeur and Escobar grounded out to third basement Brent Morel.

Morel was the one who came through in the clutch for the White Sox in the 12th, singling to drive in two runs after Royals reliever Sean O'Sullivan ran into trouble with the bases loaded and only one out. Chicago added on more run on a Juan Pierre sacrifice fly to make it a 10-7 final.

Chicago moves to 3-2, while Kansas City is now a bittersweet 4-2. A week ago had you told asked any Royals fan if they would have been happy with a 4-2 homestand, most would be ecstatic; however a loss like this stings more than the norm.

Kansas City is faced with an off day tomorrow as the travel to Detroit to take on the Tigers in a Friday through Sunday set of afternoon games.