Royals win series finale 5-2 against Tigers

Ed Zurga

The hunt for Blue October is still alive.

Bruce Chen turned in a great start, Eric Hosmer blasted a three-run homer and the Kansas City Royals picked up a key 5-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium.

Jose Iglesias put the Tigers on the scoreboard first. Chen hung an 0-1 slider, and Iglesias sent the pitch over the left field wall in the top of the third inning.

Chen pitched a spotless game outside of the homer. The southpaw tossed seven framess, allowing five hits. He struck out four and walked none, only throwing 81 pitches. It was a classic good-Chen performance, and he picked an important game to throw it.

Kansas City scored their first run in the top of the fourth. Emilio Bonifacio led off the inning with a walk, then advanced to second on a Hosmer single. Billy Butler followed with a single, plating Bonifacio and setting up the Royals for a potential big inning. Unfortunately, the next three hitters could not advance the runners, leaving the score 2-1.

The Royals' big inning came in the bottom of the fifth.  Alex Gordon and Bonifacio both hit two-out singles off Doug Fister, bringing Eric Hosmer to the plate with two on.

Hosmer connected on a 2-2 sinker, driving the pitch to dead center. The ball barely made it over the wall; on a less hot day, Austin Jackson probably catches the pitch on the warning track (of course, Iglesias' homer probably stays in the yard during April as well). But Hosmer delivered in the clutch, putting the Royals ahead 4-2.

Gordon drove in an insurance run, driving in Jarrod Dyson after the outfielder led off the bottom of the seventh with a triple. Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland each tossed a scoreless inning in relief of Chen closing out the victory.

The Royals have clawed their way back into the AL Wild Card race, going 32-19 since the All-Star break. The club will still have four teams ahead of them for the second AL Wild Card spot, but they are still in the thick of things in early September. This really should happen more often.

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