The Kansas City Royals relied on a mixture of experience and
CHICAGO (AP) _ The Kansas City Royals relied on a mixture of experience and youth to avoid being swept by the Chicago White Sox.
Melvin Bunch earned his first career win, Jim Vitiello picked up a key double and Gary Gaetti went 3-for-4 with a double, home run and four RBIs as the Royals beat the White Sox 9-0 Thursday night.
``My breaking pitch wasn’t that good, but it came through at the times when I needed it,″ said Bunch, who pitched six scoreless innings, scattered five hits, walked two and struck out four.
Kansas City manager Bob Boone said Bunch (1-2), who entered the game with a 7.29 ERA, came through with a clutch performance for the slumping Royals.
``He got the hang of it in the second inning _ play catch, throw strikes, stay down,″ Boone said. ``He started out with a real nice changeup.
``And, we put some points on the board (in a three-run first inning). We haven’t figured out how to do that too often. Maybe we learned something today.″
In the first, Greg Gagne walked and scored on Gaetti’s double. Chris James then walked, and Vitiello followed with a double into the right-field corner scoring Gaetti and James for a 3-0 lead.
Vitiello impressed Boone with his hit off loser Mike Bertotti (1-1).
``That guy was having trouble throwing to the inside part of the plate to right-handers,″ Boone said. ``(Vitiello) just went with it, like an experienced hitter.″
The Royals scored two more runs in the third on a sacrifice fly by James and an RBI double by Phil Hiatt.
Gaetti hit his 21st homer in the eighth inning, a three-run blast off Jose DeLeon. Vince Coleman’s RBI single in the ninth put the Royals up 9-0.
Billy Brewer and Jeff Montgomery relieved Bunch and preserved the shutout.
Bertotti, in his second major league appearance, pitched four innings, giving up five hits, five runs, walking four and striking out three.
``Mike had trouble getting the ball inside,″ said Chicago coach Joe Nossek, who filled in for suspended manager Terry Bevington. ``That hurt him. And he didn’t throw a lot of changeups for strikes which is a pitch he relies on a lot.″
Chicago’s biggest threat came in the second inning. With two outs, Ray Durham doubled and Chris Snopek and Mike LaValliere walked to load the bases. But Lance Johnson grounded to second.
``I was trying to overthrow when I walked LaValliere and Snopek,″ Bunch said. ``(Pitching coach Bruce Kison) came out and told me I was overthrowing. So I just tried to hit the outside corner.″
The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 57 minutes by rain.