CHICAGO – Despite starter Jose Quintana's best efforts, the White Sox again couldn't find a way to beat Mike Moustakas and the Kansas City Royals.
One day after hitting two home runs, Moustakas scored the tiebreaking run in the top of the ninth inning, jarring the ball loose from White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers as he slid into the plate, giving the Royals a 2-1 victory Wednesday in the rubber game of a three-game series.
Moustakas triggered the decisive rally with a lead-off single off Zach Putnam (3-2), the last of four White Sox pitchers. Alcides Escobar bunted Moustakas over before Nori Aoki flared a single to center field.
Adam Eaton's strong throw beat Moustakas to the plate, but Flowers lost control of the ball when Moustakas slid into the tag. Flowers was charged with an error on the play.
"I looked at the replay," Flowers said. "It looked like his knee, on impact, was literally straight into the webbing of the glove. I wish I would have hung onto it, but there's nothing I could do different."
Wade Davis (6-2) pitched a scoreless inning and Greg Holland retired the side in order in the ninth for his 26th save.
After the teams traded runs in the first inning, starters James Shields and Quintana matched each other with six scoreless innings. Neither was overwhelming, but both were able to get key outs when necessary.
"(Quintana) threw a great game," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You get two guys like that going at it, it's slim pickings for runs."
Shields allowed six hits in seven innings He walked one batter and struck out seven.
In seven innings, Quintana gave up seven hits and two walks and struck out three. He remained winless (0-5) against the Royals in 11 career starts.
"That's sucker's good," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Quintana. "You know when you match up against him, it's going to be a tough."
The no-decision was the 36th for Quintana since the 2012 season, the most for any major leaguer in that span.
The Sox's Adam Dunn singled home Jose Abreu to tie the score at 1-1 in the first.
Kansas City took the lead on Eric Hosmer's sacrifice fly.
Hosmer left the game in the eighth inning with decreased grip strength in his hand. He missed Kansas City's last two games after being hit by a pitch in the hand on Sunday.
Notes: Hosmer (bruised hand) and Abreu (sore back) returned to the lineup after brief absences. Abreu was inactive for one game. ... Davis has not allowed an extra-base hit in 42-2 innings this season. .... White Sox OF Dayan Viciedo was a late scratch because of tightness in his left hamstring. Moises Sierra replaced him in right field. ... White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper (vertigo) did not accompany the team to Minneapolis for the start of a seven-game road trip. Bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen assumed his duties for the third consecutive game. ... White Sox OF Avisail Garcia (shoulder surgery) will accelerate his workout regimen on the road trip. No timetable has been set for a rehab assignment. .... In his professional debut, White Sox first-round draft pick Carlos Rendon allowed one run in one inning of relief in the Arizona Rookie League on Tuesday.