Alex Gordon’s three RBI push Royals past White Sox
Alex Gordon got the big hit, and Norichika Aoki and Omar Infante spent all day setting the table.
Gordon hit a three-run double in the first inning and Jeremy Guthrie pitched effectively into the sixth inning as the Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 7-5 in their home opener Friday.
Aoki and Infante were acquired in the offseason to get on base at the top of the order. They each had three hits, and Aoki worked a walk, too.
”That’s why we made those additions, guys who can get on base and put the ball in play,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”Nori and Omar were on base seven times, which was big. That set the table for Gordy’s big double. It was a good offensive day for us.”
Guthrie allowed four runs on seven hits, four walks and a hit batter in 5 2-3 innings.
”It was just windy,” Guthrie said. ”It was never really cold. The grip is not perfect in conditions like that, but … we’re fortunate enough that we’re moving around every play, so we stay pretty warm.”
Lorenzo Cain drove in two runs with a two-out fifth inning single that put Kansas City ahead 7-2.
The Royals jumped on White Sox rookie right-hander Erik Johnson for six hits and four runs in the first two innings. Johnson retired only 14 of the 28 batters he faced, yielding seven runs on 10 hits, three walks and a hit batter to take the loss.
”The biggest thing is that I’ve got to compete better for my team,” Johnson said. ”We were right there. We put five runs on the board after I put them in a hole. You’ve got to give credit to our offense for never giving up.”
Jose Abreu and Conor Gillaspie hit sacrifice flies against Guthrie, and Adam Eaton hit a two-run single off reliever Kelvin Herrera in the sixth, but both runs were charged to Guthrie.
Tyler Flowers, who went 4-for-4 Thursday against Minnesota, had hits in his first three at-bats, but the streak ended in the eighth when Aoki dropped his fly ball to right.
”I thought we came up with a couple of big hits,” Flowers said. ”But Guthrie made some good pitches in situations that could have escalated into bigger innings. We had him on the ropes a couple of times, but missed a couple of hits here or there. We were probably a couple of hits away.”
The Royals, who had not made a challenge in spring training or in the first two games against the Tigers, asked the umpires to review a call in the seventh when Abreu was called safe at first on a throwing error by third baseman Mike Moustakas that pulled Eric Hosmer’s foot off the bag. After a two minute, 49 second delay, the call was upheld.
”I figured it was a good time to take a shot at it,” Yost said. ”I thought it would be a 50-50 chance.”
Greg Holland pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save after setting a Royals’ record with 47 saves last season.