KANSAS CITY -- David Robertson and the White Sox bullpen failed to put the Kansas City Royals away again on Wednesday night.
Robertson blew a lead in his third straight appearance at Kauffman Stadium and the White Sox eventually fell to the Royals 3-2 in 14 innings in front of 25,188. Lorenzo Cain’s two-out RBI single off Matt Albers sent the White Sox to their sixth loss in nine games. The White Sox, who stranded 12 base runners, have lost four of five meetings in Kansas City this season despite leading into the seventh inning in each game.
“It’s frustrating,” Robertson said. “Guys did a great job of coming back there in the (11th inning), and then I came in and just screwed it all up. I really needed to get it done right there. I didn’t make enough good pitches. I left balls over the plate. You walk the leadoff guy he’s going to score.
“I’m frustrated with myself, more frustrated that I let the team down. We all needed this one. I have to be better.”
Cain’s two-out single to center off Albers drove in Christian Colon, who started the 14th inning with a single and moved up on a sac bunt. It arrived three innings after Robertson blew his sixth save in 33 tries and fourth in his last eight. Robertson -- who received a four-year, $46-million contract before the 2015 season -- also blew a save here in Tuesday night’s victory and surrendered a six-run, ninth-inning lead to the Royals back in May.
He opened the 11th inning with a six-pitch walk of Eric Hosmer, who advanced into scoring position on Jarrod Dyson’s sac bunt. Salvador Perez then tied it with a one-out double to right center.
Robertson, who had a 3.22 ERA through July 17, has allowed nine earned runs and 11 hits in 11 innings since. Those appearances have all come after Robertson was sidelined for 12 days with a left leg strain.
“Leadoff walks are always going to hurt, especially in a one-run game as a closer,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “That’s the first thing you look at and guys getting good swings at him first pitch. You have to be better, has to be sharper. We’re not telling him something he doesn’t feel.
“Arm wise and velocity wise he’s where he was, just not quite as sharp. The swings lefties are getting on him, maybe the cutter isn’t as big as it’s been and burying it inside.”
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Nate Jones also blew a lead in the eighth inning, which cost Jose Quintana win No. 10 despite 7 1/3 dominant innings. Cheslor Cuthbert’s RBI double on the first pitch he saw from Jones scored Paulo Orlando, who chased Quintana with a one-out double.
Quintana wound up with the 58th no decision of his career despite a fantastic outing.
He had the Royals out of sync all evening as he attacked the strike zone and allowed four hits, walked one and struck out five.
Quintana leads the majors in no decisions since 2012 with eight more than Cole Hamels and nine more than James Shields and Wei-Yin Chen.
The White Sox offense did Quintana no favors, either.
Aside from Shuck’s third-inning solo homer, they got nothing against Ian Kennedy. But it wasn’t because the White Sox didn’t have chances.
The White Sox stranded a pair of runners in the sixth, seventh, eighth, 10th and 11th innings, failing to add on to their one-run lead in the first three.
Tim Anderson briefly put the White Sox back ahead in the top of the 11th with a two-out, opposite-field RBI single just over Eric Hosmer’s glove to make it a 2-1 game. But Royals relievers retired the last 10 White Sox hitters they faced.
The White Sox finished 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
“Both teams had a lot of opportunities,” Ventura said. “You feel for Q. Every guy came in after one inning and seemed spent. It was hot out there.
“It’s a tough one when you go 14 and know you had a chance to put it away a couple different times and couldn’t do it.”