Three hours into the contest, the clouds departed, and the next two hours were spent under the warm light of summer. In this light, Lorenzo Cain shone brightest, hitting his ninth home run of the season and lifting the Royals to victory over the White Sox 7-6 in thirteen innings.
The Royals struck early, scoring three in the first inning off of Jose Quintana. Alcides Escobar led off with a single and then scored on a Mike Moustakas double. Lorenzo Cain singled, moving Moustakas to third, who then proceeded to score on Eric Hosmer's single. After a Darkness double play, Salvador Perez doubled, scoring Cain. The score was 3-0 after the first half inning of play. Overall, Quintana went 5.1 innings, giving up four runs on ten hits and a walk with four strikeouts.
The White Sox came back with single runs in the third, fourth, and fifth innings, pushing Guthrie from the game after 88 pitches. Guthrie was slightly less than effective, but the defense behind him limited the damage on the afternoon. His final line was three runs in five innings on nine hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
The Royals regained the lead in the sixth, as Alex Rios hit a ground rule double into the right field corner and then scored on Paulo Orlando's double. Chicago tied it in the seventh on an Alexei Ramirez opposite field home run off of Kelvin Herrera.
In the following half-inning, the Royals broke through again. Rios singled and was pinch ran for with Dyson. Paulo Orlando walked and was followed up by an Escobar single, loading the bases. Moustakas hit a sacrifice fly to give the Royals the lead. Cain was intentionally walked so Zach Duke could pitch to Hosmer, who struck out on a full count. Kendrys Morales then walked on four pitches, pushing the lead to 6-4.
Wade Davis struck out two in his half inning, pushing his ERA back down to 0.44. Then the ninth happened.
Greg Holland led off the inning by getting Melky Cabrera to fly out to right field. He then proceeded to strike out Jose Abreu. LaRoche reached on a single to right. Alexei Ramirez walked, and then J.B. Shuck, who is having a pretty okay season, hit a double into left field to tie the game. Avisail Garcia pinch hit for Tyler Flowers and grounded out to second to end the inning.
At some point I lost track of time. Luke Hochevar pitched a sparkling inning, striking out the side with a vintage Hochevar curve ball that was as smooth as Left Hand Milk Stout. After that, the rest is somewhat a blur. It took awhile, and Brandon Finnegan was involved (and did well), but the rest of the game was a chorus of silence and meh that ended in a resounding crescendo of Lorenzo Cain doing tremendous things because he is tremendous.
"Come on Candy Cain!" Lorenzo Bomb https://t.co/oB85LktOu9— Jim McClintock (@pimpino) July 18, 2015
I'm not really sure who ended the game for Kansas City. My friend tells me it was Ryan Madson, who earned his first save since 2011. I do know that Ventura left Robertson in the bullpen, which highlights both the similarities of MLB managers and the fact that their outcomes are mostly relative to the talent they are in charge of. I also know that Mike Moustakas made a sparkling defensive play on a line drive to turn two. Everything else is lost in time's shadow.
The Royals look to get the series win tomorrow, as Danny Duffy (3-4, 4.65) will face off against Chris Sale (he's better).