On a night when the Royals could have given up ground in the battle for Grass Creek (Seattle won 7-5), they instead held their ground by defeating the Chicago White Sox 6-3. The night wasn't without its perils.
The Royals opened the scoring in the first inning. After a Lorenzo Cain double, Eric Hosmer squeaked a grounder through the shift to score Cain. I feel like a normal infield alignment probably turns that into an out. That's shifting for you.
In the second inning, something happened that has not yet happened this season. Josh Phegley, whose name I can't really say seriously, hit a home run. The guy's career line is basically irrelevant, so of course he hits a home run when the Royals are fighting for the playoffs. James Shields leaving a fastball over the heart of the plate didn't help. The homer was of the 2 run variety. Shields allowed a triple after the home run but got Adam Eaton to strike out to end the threat.
The Sox struck again in the 4th. After a double, Jordan Danks shot a ground ball just past the outstretched glove of Omar Infante. Norichika Aoki's throw wasn't in time, and a run scored.
The Royals tied it up after two innings in which they each scored one run. An Alcides Escobar single plated Salvador Perez, who had hit a TRIPLE (!), in the 5th, and in the 6th Eric Hosmer showed why he should be playing by reaching down for a curveball and lining it over the right field fence for a homer.
The Royals scored more runs. Billy Butler, because he's so fast, beat out a double play ball. Did I say beat out? I meant that the White Sox failed to make a throw go all the way to first base. Kind of. A run scored.
Billy Butler Terrance Gore stole 2nd, and because Billy Butler Gore is so fast, he scored on a weak Alex Gordon single to left field. In the 9th, Jarrod Dyson scored from a Cain single.
Luckily, Shields lasted 6 innings, which meant that Aaron Crow didn't have to come in to pitch his inning. The HDH trio came in and completed their business in a business-like fashion. The Royals' bats were present, gathering 14 hits and sequencing them enough such that runs scored. Overall, this was a regulation game that ended in regulation
disappointment victory. 6 starter innings, 3 reliever innings. Lots of hits scattered, only 1 walk, runs scored.
EXCEPT IT BRINGS THE ROYALS CLOSER TO THE PLAYOFFS! That's anything but regulation. The Royals remain 2 games behind Detroit, 3 games ahead of Seattle, and are in sole possession of the first wild card. The Royals surpassed their win total of last year.
Stupid green hats.