Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Nori Aoki went 2-for-4 and scored the deciding run in the bottom of the eighth inning that gave the Kansas City Royals a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Aoki also had an RBI on a third-inning single, but it was his two-strike bunt base hit with one out in the Royals' half of the eighth with the game knotted at 1-1 that turned into the game's pivotal moment.
Alcides Escobar followed with a sharp double off Chicago starter Jose Quintana for his second hit of the night, which set up Billy Butler's tie-breaking sacrifice fly that brought home Aoki without a throw.
Quintana (2-4), who entered the eighth having retired 10 straight Royals, was charged with all three runs over 7 1/3 innings in a hard-luck defeat.
Wade Davis (3-1) fanned two during a 1-2-3 top of the eighth to record the win in relief of Jeremy Guthrie, who limited the White Sox to one run and just three hits over the first seven innings.
Danny Valencia also drove in a run to help Kansas City avoid a sweep of the three-game series.
Both starters were on top of their games for much of the contest, as Guthrie didn't allow a hit after the third inning and Quintana set the side down in order in five of the first seven frames.
Guthrie's only mistake was a leadoff walk to Adam Dunn in the top of the second. Though Dunn was erased on Alexei Ramirez's fielder's choice, the Chicago shortstop stole second and scored on Paul Konerko's single to center that put the White Sox up 1-0.
Quintana began his outing by recording seven straight outs until Pedro Ciriaco reached on an infield single in the third and moved to second on a groundout before beating the throw home on Aoki's two-out single to left.
The Royals then loaded the bases with one out in the fourth on singles by Butler, Valencia and Lorenzo Cain, but Quintana got Ciriaco to bounce back to the mound for a 1-2-3 double play that maintained the 1-1 deadlock.
Kansas City finally broke through behind Aoki and Escobar's exploits in the eighth, tacking on another run in the inning when Chicago reliever Jake Petricka walked Alex Gordon and Valencia to force in Escobar.
The White Sox put two aboard against Greg Holland in the ninth, but the Royals closer nailed down his 13th save by inducing a game-ending double-play ball from Ramirez.