By Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune reporter
8:09 PM AKDT, July 14, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Adam Dunn's 451-foot home run Saturday night amounted to much less than a consolation prize for the White Sox after a 6-3 loss to the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Much of their frustration stemmed from Alcides Escobar's two home runs, the second of which off Jake Peavy in the seventh inning snapped a 3-3 tie and doubled his season total.
The Sox, who led the majors with a .301 batting average with runners in scoring position entering Saturday's game, were only 2-for-11 in those situations.
Despite hitting his second homer in as many games and increasing his total to 27, Dunn was angry with himself for dropping a pickoff throw at first base from Peavy that could have stopped a two-run rally in the eighth.
"Then you have a closer like (Jonathan) Broxton in there, probably it's not easy," Dunn said. "But it's a lot easier to get one run than three."
The Sox (48-39) missed a chance to expand their three-game lead in the American League Central, but Dunn was more frustrated over the Sox's blown chances against the Royals.
"You start scoreboard watching now, you're going to start driving yourself crazy," Dunn said.
Manager Robin Ventura, meanwhile, said he wasn't talked into letting Peavy start the eighth. And Peavy said he felt fine entering the inning even though he gave up three singles in it before departing at 120 pitches.
"I feel fine, health-wise," Peavy said. "I just wasn't crazy sharp."
Paul Konerko, who was hitting .399 on May 27, grounded out twice with runners in scoring position and now is at .324. He was batting .400 with runners in scoring position on June 1, but is 6-for-24 (.250) since.
Konerko said his left wrist has felt fine for the last month, and Ventura said his All-Star slugger isn't fatigued.
"You go through periods where you swing it better than others," Ventura said. "At the beginning, he was swinging as good as he has, ever. People expect that to happen.
"It's more his approach. It's more a small thing that's not happening that was happening before."
Although Peavy, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana have formed a reliable threesome, the Sox continue to scout for starting pitching help.
Two sources said they have considered Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano and Brewers ace Zack Greinke, and the Brewers had a top scout at Saturday's game.
Among the other teams with representatives in attendance were the Marlins, Blue Jays and Astros.
But the Sox likely would have to surrender two solid prospects to land a marquee pitcher. And under new rules, teams that acquire players who become free agents aren't eligible for draft compensation if those picks sign elsewhere in 2012.