KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Alexei Ramirez homered and drove in four runs, Dayan Viciedo and Paul Konerko also went deep and the Chicago White Sox climbed out of a five-run hole before holding on for a wild 7-6 win over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
Zach Putnam (2-0) worked two shutout innings in relief of Scott Carroll, and Ronald Belisario also threw two scoreless innings before Scott Downs and Jake Petricka bailed out Matt Lindstrom.
Lindstrom, normally the White Sox closer, gave up a leadoff single to Nori Aoki in the ninth, then appeared to hurt his foot fielding a sacrifice bunt by Alcides Escobar that resulted in an error. Downs entered and struck out Eric Hosmer, then Petricka picked off pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson at second base before getting Billy Butler on a groundout to end the game.
Jason Vargas (4-2) squandered the rare five-run lead the Royals' pop-gun offense gave him. He allowed all seven White Sox runs in 4 2-3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.
The White Sox got their production from the long ball even without Jose Abreu, the majors' home run leader, who went on the disabled list Sunday with inflammation in his left ankle.
Carroll, who grew up just north of Kauffman Stadium in Liberty, certainly had a rude homecoming for the White Sox. He allowed the first five batters he faced to reach base, did not get an out on his first 30 pitchers and trailed 5-0 by the second inning.
Vargas, his Royals counterpart, made sure it didn't matter.
The White Sox got three runs back in the third, when Ramirez hit a 2-2 pitch for his sixth homer, matching his total from last year. They got another back in the fourth, when Viciedo sent a 1-2 pitch over the wall to make it 5-4.
Kansas City scraped out a run in the bottom half on Hosmer's RBI single, but the White Sox completed their comeback during a messy fifth inning that ended with Vargas on the bench.
It began with a single by Adam Eaton and another by Gordon Beckham, who was thrown out trying to reach second. Ramirez then made it 6-5 with a groundout, but apparently thought he was safe as he was tagged sliding past the bag. Replays showed he missed the base by about 2 feet.
It turned out to be a moot point. Adam Dunn walked moments later, and Konerko followed with Chicago's third homer in three innings, a two-run shot that gave the White Sox the lead.
That was it for Vargas, who had been on a roll coming into the game. He won his previous two starts and held high-powered Colorado to two runs in a 3-2 victory his last time out.
NOTES: Abreu had an MRI that revealed no structural damage. Chicago manager Robin Ventura characterized it as "good news," but refused to say when the slugger might return. ... Royals LHP Bruce Chen (bulging disk) plans to throw a bullpen session Tuesday. The team still has not decided when he will begin a rehab assignment. ... White Sox LHP Chris Sale (left flexor muscle strain) also plans to throw a bullpen session Tuesday. Sale played catch Monday and said he is "definitely ready" to return. ... RHP Yordano Ventura starts for Kansas City on Tuesday night. RHP Andre Rienzo pitches for Chicago.