CHICAGO -- There was a bit of baseball gamesmanship that, in the opinion of Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, was handled quite properly. And he was the guy who set it off.
In the first inning of the Royals' 3-1 loss on Monday night, Guthrie struck two of the White Sox with pitches. First, he hit Alexei Ramirez, who appeared peeved, and later Conor Gillaspie. Neither intentionally, Guthrie emphasized.
"The thing you have to think about with Ramirez is he stands about four inches from the plate, so if you don't throw a strike on the black, you have a chance to hit him," Guthrie said. "I didn't understand his reaction to it, but certainly the Gillaspie pitch was a ball that got away from me, up and in."
At any rate, in the second inning White Sox pitcher Chris Sale hit the Royals' Danny Valencia in the hand. It was a little payback in the age-old baseball manner.
"I think they handled it the right way," Guthrie said. "It was my fault that Danny got hit like that, but their guy went out and did the right thing in terms of the way you play the game. I wish he would have hit [Valencia] lower in the body and not put his hand and face at risk but, at the end of the day, their pitcher did the right thing."
Valencia came out of the game five innings later and X-rays taken on his left hand were negative. He shrugged it off and said he was fine.
"It's really my fault," Guthrie said. "I talked to Danny about that and said I'm not trying to hit guys, but I hit two. And their guy goes out and protects his hitters. I thought the umpire did a great job, too, because he didn't add warnings and allowed us to continue to pitch inside without fear of being ejected. That took care of itself."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.