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Liam Hendriks hit hard and pulled early before Royals' bullpen flops in 7-5 loss to White Sox

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KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Liam Hendriks' abbreviated start forced Royals relievers to work six innings, and that didn't work out very well.

Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis both gave up runs for the first time in nearly three months as Kansas City's dominant bullpen was touched up Tuesday night in a 7-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

Royals manager Ned Yost went to his bullpen early when Hendriks was pulled after three-plus innings. He gave up four runs on seven hits and a walk.

In his past three outings, Hendriks has allowed 11 runs and 18 hits in 9 1-3 innings.

"After my last one, I needed to come out with a redeemer and I didn't do it," Hendriks said. "I'm disappointed with the way I pitched. It was a little irritating. It's frustrating."

Herrera normally pitches the seventh and Davis the eighth, but Yost called on both relievers an inning earlier while trying to protect a one-run lead in an important game.

Kansas City used nine pitchers, a club record for a nine-inning game, in a contest that lasted 4 hours, 16 minutes — the longest nine-inning game in Royals history.

"We knew we were going to go with a short leash on (Hendriks)," Yost said. "We knew we had all of our guys down there and if he started to develop into any type of trouble we were going to go get him. We were trying to keep the score as close as we could tonight and see what we could accomplish."

Davis replaced Herrera with two on in the seventh inning and walked Jose Abreu to load the bases for Conor Gillaspie, who cleared them with a triple to right-center on a 2-2 pitch to give Chicago a 7-5 lead.

That ended Herrera's scoreless streak at 30 2-3 innings, dating to June 24. Also snapped was Davis' shutout streak of 31 2-3 innings, a club record for a reliever, with the first run charged to him since June 25.

"I felt comfortable and confident the whole time," Davis said. "I just didn't make the pitches I needed to make to keep the game where it was, and it ended up costing us some runs.

"We've thrown well as of late, but tonight we didn't get the job done and it was unfortunate."

The rare bullpen failure prevented Kansas City from gaining ground on AL Central leader Detroit, which lost at Minnesota. The Royals remained 1 1/2 games behind the Tigers, but still lead Seattle by a game for the second wild-card spot.

PHOTO: Chicago White Sox' Conor Gillaspie hits an RBI triple in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. Gillaspie scored three runs on the play. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
Chicago White Sox' Conor Gillaspie hits an RBI triple in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. Gillaspie scored three runs on the play. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

Nori Aoki had his second straight four-hit game, including a sixth-inning single that put the Royals up 5-4.

Adam Eaton had four hits, matching his career high, and scored two runs for Chicago.

"That doesn't happen very often," Eaton said of beating the Kansas City bullpen.

White Sox rookie right-hander Chris Bassitt also failed to make it out of the fourth. He threw 94 pitches in 3 2-3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks.

Eric Surkamp (2-0) got the win, and Zach Putnam worked a perfect ninth for his fifth save.

TRAINER'S ROOM

White Sox: DH-1B Paul Konerko, who has not played since breaking his left hand on Sept. 2, took extended batting practice. "When he's fit to play, he'll get some time," manager Robin Ventura said. "I don't necessarily want him going out there not having swung a bat in two weeks. He'll get an at-bat here or there to acclimate him."

Royals: LHP Danny Duffy, who skipped two starts because of a sore shoulder, threw a four-inning simulated game. "There's nothing wrong," Duffy said. "I felt stronger than I did for about the past month." He is slated to start Monday in Cleveland.

FAVORITE FOE

Aoki has eight multihit games against the White Sox this season and a .511 batting average (23 for 45).

RARE WALK

Royals catcher Salvador Perez walked in the second inning, his first free pass since Aug. 12. He went 122 plate appearances without a walk.

UP NEXT

White Sox: LHP Chris Sale, an AL Cy Young Award contender, starts the series finale. He has trouble with Royals DH Billy Butler, who has a .359 career average against him with three home runs, two doubles and 10 RBIs in 39 at-bats.

Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura has nine made consecutive quality starts, a club record for rookies.

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