CHICAGO — Under the watchful eye of general manager Dayton Moore, who arrived in the Windy City earlier in the day, and after an air-it-out players-only meeting before the game, the Royals finally snapped out of their funk, belting the White Sox 7-1 on Tuesday night.
The win snapped a four-game slide for the Royals.
Manager Ned Yost simply was relieved to get in the win column after the sluggish start post-All Star break, but wasn’t advocating any more meetings.
"No, I’ve had three or four meetings myself," Yost said. "(The players) need to take care of their business themselves and they did. It shows they’re not satisfied with the way things have gone."
Several Royals contributed offensively, but it was Mike Moustakas who started the scoring and ended it for the Royals with two rockets into the right-field seats.
It was Moose’s first two-homer game since last season, which happened July 30 in Minnesota. He now leads the Royals in homers with 12.
Moose also did it on Greek Heritage Night at U.S. Cellular Field.
"I knew that and I was telling everyone it was going to be my night," he said afterward.
Alex Gordon had the last two-homer game for the Royals on May 15.
"I’m just relieved," Yost said. "I’ve been saying all along we’re a second-half club and we start out 0-4. But we did some good things tonight, a little from everyone."
— Moose calls return. Moustakas got the offense going with a blast into the right-field seats that gave the Royals their first lead since Saturday in Boston. Then, with runners on first and second in the third, Moose hit a bullet into right field for a single, so hard that Gordon was held at third. In the sixth, Moose nearly delivered his second homer of the game, flying out to deep center near the 400-foot sign. He then mashed a two-run homer to right in the eighth. Moose now is hitting a season-high .198.
"I got two fastballs, both inside, and I was able to drop my hands and get around on them," he said. "I was seeing the ball pretty good."
Mainly, though, Moose was happy for a much-needed win. "It’s good to hear loud music in here again," he said as tunes blared in the background of the Royals’ clubhouse. "That’s a good sign."
— Raul’s bat speed is back. Raul Ibanez, mired in a deep slump, rifled two shots into the right-field corner. The first should have been a double, but Ibanez hesitated around first and then was thrown out on a bang-bang play at second. Then Ibanez delivered the key hit of the game: After Billy Butler doubled in the sixth, Ibanez roped one into the corner for a double and the Royals regained the lead.
— Chen ties Mariano. Bruce Chen notched his 82nd career victory, tying him with Mariano Rivera for the most wins by a Panamanian-born pitcher. "It’s really a great honor," Chen said. "I consider him one of the greatest pitchers in major-league history."
Chen has done an admirable job filling in for the injured Jason Vargas. Chen went five innings, kept the ChiSox bats quiet and gave up just one run, a homer to Adam Dunn. He walked two and struck out two.
— No luck with reviews. The Royals lost one review and had another call that originally went their way overturned. Jarrod Dyson appeared to beat out an infield grounder in the fifth but was called out. Yost challenged, but after a long look, the boys in New York said the call stood. Later in the inning, the Royals appeared to have Alexei Ramirez picked off first for the second time (he beat the throw to second base the first time he was picked off in the first inning). This time, Butler’s throw from first was in plenty of time to Alcides Escobar at short, and Esky appeared to make the tag for an out. Ramirez was ruled out originally, but the replay showed Ramirez slipped past a lazy tag by Escobar. The White Sox challenged and won.
— Sloppy offense at first. For a while, it seemed the Royals were once again going to waste chance after chance. Dyson led off the game with a double, but Omar Infante didn’t advance him, and the next two hitters struck out. Dyson stranded two runners in the second. Butler had the bases loaded and one out in the third and rolled into a double play on the first pitch. Ibanez was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double in the fourth. Finally, though, the Royals broke through with a four-run sixth.
— Nope, nothing else. Hey, you can’t complain about a team ending a four-game slide. So we’re not. End of story.