Three homers lift Royals to 5-3 win over White Sox in 10
CHICAGO — The Kansas City Royals have home-field advantage in one round of the playoffs. They’re still looking for more.
Eric Hosmer hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning, and the Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3 on Wednesday night to clinch home-field advantage in an AL Division Series.
Ben Zobrist singled with one out, and Hosmer drove a pitch from David Robertson (6-5) into the bullpen in right field to give the Royals the lead. For Hosmer, it was his 18th homer of the season.
"It was a huge hit for us," manager Ned Yost said.
Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas also homered for Kansas City, which had already clinched the AL Central title. They will host the first two games of their ALDS, and a Game 5 if necessary.
Combined with Toronto splitting its doubleheader in Baltimore, the Royals pulled within a game of the Blue Jays for home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. Toronto did win the season series, giving it the tiebreaker over the Royals.
But that’s still the target for the Royals, who came within one victory of winning last year’s World Series.
"As many games as we can get at home as possible, that’s what we want to try and do," Hosmer said. "Obviously, we would like home-field advantage throughout the whole entire postseason, but just got to see how that plays out. To have the first round at least at home is definitely big for us."
The win was a painful one for Kansas City. In the seventh, Lorenzo Cain fouled a pitch from Jose Quintana off his right knee. He remained in the game and grounded out to third but he didn’t make it to first and was replaced in the bottom of the inning.
The Royals said Cain has a right knee contusion and is day to day.
Edinson Volquez went six innings, allowed one run and nine hits while striking out five but couldn’t pick up his first win since Sept. 8. Franklin Morales (4-2) pitched a scoreless inning in relief and Wade Davis picked up his 15th save in 16 tries.
Quintana remained winless since Sept. 12 despite going nine innings while allowing three runs and five hits.
"He was great, outstanding, you can use all of them," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. "We thought we had a chance there to get him one."
Chicago gave Quintana a 1-0 lead in the second on Adam Eaton’s run-scoring single. The White Sox had three singles off Volquez in the first and three more in the second but scored only one run.
Gordon led off the third with his 13th home run over the fence in deep left-center field. Moustakas’ two-run homer in the sixth gave Kansas City a 3-1 lead.
Jose Abreu hit his 30th homer in the seventh for Chicago to pull within 3-2. In the eighth, Chicago tied the game with a double by Tyler Flowers when his drive to right off Kelvin Herrera went over Paulo Orlando’s head and bounced over the wall, bringing in Tyler Saladino.
But Robertson couldn’t hold Kansas City in the 10th.
"I just wasn’t able to nail it down there in the 10th and give us another chance to score a run," Robertson said.
Kansas City, meanwhile, picked up its usually sturdy bullpen.
"It’s not going to happen very often and that’s what good teams do," Hosmer said. "Just find ways to pick up your teammates."
Yost was asked how critical it is for his team to put together some wins heading into the postseason with the Royals entering Wednesday’s game having lost four of five.
"We want to get into the playoffs feeling good and win as many games as we can," Yost said. "It’s not fun losing ballgames. … It’s important to win, but I don’t think it’s going to have any bearing on how you do in the playoffs because it’s a different animal. But you want to finish as strong as you can."
Abreu joined Albert Pujols (2001-02) and Ryan Braun (2007-08) as the only players in baseball history to hit 30 or more home runs in each of their first two seasons.
Royals: OF Jarrod Dyson replaced Cain in center field.
White Sox: INF Micah Johnson will have surgery on his left knee Thursday. Ventura said he didn’t have a timetable for when Johnson would return to baseball activities. "It’s not that big a deal, but it’s enough to go in and fix it," Ventura said.
Kansas City RHP Kris Medlen (5-2, 4.30) faces Chicago LHP John Danks (7-14, 4.53). Medlen is 4-0 with a 1.13 ERA in three starts and eight outings on the road in 2015.
- Alex Gordon
- Ben Zobrist
- Chicago White Sox
- David Robertson
- Eric Hosmer
- FOX Sports Kansas City
- Kansas City Royals
- Mike Moustakas