CHICAGO -- The White Sox season sputtered to a merciful end Sunday afternoon with a 4-1 loss to the Royals.
The Royals used two two-run homers off Sox starter Jose Quintana to pull off the victory at U.S. Cellular Field. The Sox loaded the bases with one out in the ninth before Gordon Beckham and Marcus Semien struck out.
After an August winning surge, the Sox ended the season having lost 23 of their final 30 games. They finished last in their division for the first time since 1989, and with a 63-99 final record, they tied for fourth in Sox history for most losses in a season.
"I would say that everybody has felt turmoil, because it's not just what you do on the field, it's how we've lost," Beckham said of the season. "We'll crawl back into games only to break our own hearts at the end. The way we lost games this year, it was just tough. It was worse than losing a lot of games, just because of how we lost them. It felt like we ripped our hearts out once or twice a week."
Alexei Ramirez hit a fourth-inning home run, and Quintana pitched seven innings to reach 200 innings for the season.
"That's a big number for pitchers, and going into his second year, that's what guys are measured by is durability and being able to go out there and eat up innings," Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Quintana. "That's an important thing for pitchers going forward and being able to have something like that in your career."
Tough job: Ventura said Saturday was one of the more difficult days this season because of the dismissal of hitting coach Jeff Manto.
"It's hard because you spend so much time in there," Ventura said. "We're close as a group and a staff. You don't like to see that happen to good people."
General manager Rick Hahn cited the desire for a new voice to help turn around a Sox offense that averaged 3.7 runs per game. Ventura said hitting coaches often face an uphill climb.
"Those relationships (between coach and player) are tough because you're always in there every day and not everybody's happy," Ventura said. "I don't ever know a lineup that everybody's doing well at the same time. It's not for the lack of knowledge or anything else. It's just somebody says it a different way and somebody might understand it and take it a different way. And that's why that job's so tough. And that's why in our game that position changes a lot."
Attendance dip: With an announced attendance of 22,633, the Sox brought their season total to 1,768,544, the lowest number since 2002.
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