It was a weird win for the White Sox on Monday night.
More important for the Sox, it might have been the breakthrough victory they've been seeking for more than half the season.
"I hope this is the break we catch," manager Ozzie Guillen said after the White Sox edged the Royals 5-4 at U.S. Cellular Field when relief pitcher Aaron Crow's balk with two outs in the ninth inning allowed A.J. Pierzynski to score from third base.
"I think coming back and winning this way gets your team pumped," Guillen continued. "You're up in the ninth and give up a home run and come back right away, put some pressure right on the opposite team. That's good to see."
The White Sox led 4-3 in the top of the ninth before Eric Hosmer hit a leadoff home run off closer Sergio Santos.
But the Sox answered right back against Crow, Kansas City's all-star representative.
With Adam Dunn at the plate and Pierzynski on third base and Juan Pierre on second, Crow apparently turned his shoulder at Pierzynski before going home.
Umpire Ed Rapuano immediately called the balk and the game was over.
"(Crow) just came up a little bit," Pierzynski said. "It wasn't much, but I've seen it called a lot of times. I just saw his front shoulder (move), and then he realized and stepped off and didn't think anyone saw it.
"No one reacted. It took a second for everyone to finally realize what he had done. It was a good way to win. Good comeback."
Royals manager livid:
Kansas City manager Ned Yost said he looked at the replay of Aaron Crow's game-ending balk and didn't see any type of infraction.
"He (home-plate umpire Ed Rapuano) was adamant that it was a balk," Yost said. "I've looked at the replay four or five times and I'm having a hard time seeing it. Eddie said (Crow) turned his shoulder before he stepped off, I don't know.
"I don't know how you can end a game like that."
"There was no intent to deceive any runners. That's what a balk is, deceiving a runner. Are you going to tell me he was deceiving a runner? He was stepping off. That's what he was doing."
Konerko seeing stars:
The "PaulStar" campaign is off to a good start.
White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko has the early lead in Final Vote balloting for the 34th spot on the American League all-star team.
Detroit's Victor Martinez, Kansas City's Alex Gordon, Baltimore's Adam Jones and Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist follow Konerko.
"I haven't heard that, but I guess that's cool," Konerko said before Monday night's win over the Royals. "We'll have to wait and see how it goes.
"I know everybody here is working hard, which I appreciate. Some people had to come in on a holiday for that only reason. So, I kind of feel bad about that. I appreciate it. I'll have fun with it either way."
The July 12 All-Star Game is going to be played at Chase Field in Phoenix, not far from Konerko's off-season home in suburban Scottsdale.
Either way, the White Sox' captain is going to be in Arizona when the All-Star Game is being played.
"It's a great thing if you go, but if you don't go it's not the end of the world," said Konerko, a four-time all-star. "I certainly won't be let down if I don't win. I know whoever is going is deserving as well.
"We'll just see how the next couple of days go. I wish it was a two-day thing and you knew sooner, just for planning and that kind of stuff. It is what it is and I'll deal with it."
Good news for Humber?
Phil Humber, who leads the White Sox in wins (8) and ERA (2.69) also was an all-star snub, but the right-handed pitcher should wind up being added to the AL squad.
Three all-star pitchers -- Felix Hernandez, James Shields and Justin Verlander -- are scheduled to start Sunday and would be ineligible to play in the All-Star Game.
Relief pitcher Brandon League also could miss the game if his expectant wife has a baby.
"It's an honor even to be in that discussion," Humber said. "It's something I definitely didn't expect."