Royals squander early lead, fall 7-6 to White Sox

Whit Merrifeld attempted to score in the ninth inning of the Royals' loss to the White Sox but was thrown out at home plate.
AP

CHICAGO — After two errors nearly cost the White Sox, two great throws by Avisail Garcia helped them hold on for a victory.

Matt Davidson drove in three runs with his 26th homer and a double, Yoan Moncada hit a two-run drive and Chicago overcame a four-run deficit to beat the Kansas City Royals 7-6 on Friday night.

Juan Minaya pitched a scoreless ninth for his sixth save as rookie Reynaldo Lopez won his third straight game. Minaya was aided by a sharp double play that ended the game and dropped the Royals four games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card with nine games left.

With Whit Merrifield on second and one out, Lorenzo Cain singled to right. Garcia threw out Merrifield at the plate — despite Garcia slipping first — then Cain was thrown out trying to advance to second on two crisp relays.

“I just tried to throw the ball as quick as I can because he’s a fast runner,” Garcia said. “So, that’s what I did. Just stand up and throw because when you think about it, that’s when you throw the ball somewhere else.”

Garcia also threw out Alex Gordon at the plate in the sixth, preventing the tying run from scoring from second base on Merrifield’s single.

“We need all these games down the stretch,” Cain said. “To lose that one that way we did, it’s tough. That’s just how the season has been going for us.”

Alcides Escobar lined a solo drive and Eric Hosmer singled for two RBIs in a six-run third inning for the Royals. White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson made his major-league leading 27th error and Moncada couldn’t handle a grounder at second, leading to four unearned runs in the third.

“It was a pretty exciting finish to a ballgame that kind of got a little ugly early on,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said.

Lopez (3-3) allowed six runs — two earned — and 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings. Jason Hammel (8-13) allowed seven runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings, raising his ERA to 5.32.

“Embarrassingly bad,” Hammel said after being hit hard for his third straight start. “I gave that one away. It’s just garbage.”

Davidson, who returned after sitting out Thursday with a low-grade fever, and Moncada each hit two-run drives in a five-run fourth as the White Sox took a 7-6 lead.

Chicago held on to move past Detroit and out of the AL Central cellar for the first time since before the All-Star break.

YOST TO RETURN

Manager Ned Yost said he planned to return for 2018, the final season on his contract and his ninth with Kansas City. “Was there ever a question about it?” the 63-year-old Yost said. “One more year, two more years, we’ll see what happens.” Yost has the most wins among Royals managers at 624.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: C Salvador Perez left with soreness in his jaw after being hit by a foul tip in the fourth.

White Sox: Manager Rick Renteria doesn’t know whether RHP Carson Fulmer, who left in the first inning of Thursday’s game in Houston with a blister on his right index finger, will be able to make his next scheduled start.

UP NEXT

Royals LHP Danny Duffy (8-9. 3.71) is scheduled to face White Sox RHP Dylan Covey (0-6, 8.18) on Saturday night. Duffy will make his second start since returning from the disabled list (left elbow impingement). It will be Covey’s third start since being reinstated from the DL (strained left oblique) on Aug. 15.