The Royals launched five home runs late in the game to storm back and beat the White Sox 7-2 on a sweltering Saturday evening. The storms came just after the game ended, but the Royals provided plenty of thunder and lightning of their own.
Old friend Melky Cabrera did the damage against Jason Vargas, with a four-hit game that left him just a triple-shy of the cycle. Cabrera homered in the third to put the White Sox on the board, then doubled home Tyler Saladino in fifth to make it 2-0 White Sox. Vargas would leave after giving up two hits to start the sixth, having given up seven hits in all with two runs, one walk, and two strikeouts.
Mike Pelfrey, who has a 6.33 ERA against the Royals in ten career games, stymied the Royals through five innings. Pelfrey somehow managed to work around six walks, inducing two double plays - one of which was nearly a triple play that Salvador Perez had to run hard to avoid. Pelfrey held the Royals to just two hits and no runs over the first five innings, exiting in the sixth after walking Lorenzo Cain to lead off the inning.
With Pelfrey gone, the Royals immediately went to work against Chicago’s decimated bullpen. Perez launched a two-run home run off David Holmberg, his 19th of the year, just three shy of his career high set last year. Mike Moustakas made it back-to-back jacks with his 27th home run of the year to give the Royals a 3-2 lead. Brandon Moss launched the third home run of the inning, adding to the dong-fest.
The Royals have 116 homers as a team in 96 games. They hit 95 total in 2014; 139 in 2015; 147 last year. Club record is 168.— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) July 23, 2017
Whit Merrifield ended the inning with an RBI single that he tried unsuccessfully to hustle into a double. The White Sox bullpen took a 2-0 lead and turned it into a 5-2 deficit in one inning, and Robin Ventura wasn’t even around to endure it.
Jorge Bonifacio add a solo home run in the seventh, his 12th of the year. Moose added another home run in the eighth, his 28th, leaving him just eight dongs shy of Balboni’s record. It was the second five-home run game of the year for the Royals, joining the June 10 game in San Diego, and just the fourth time in club history they have had two such games in a year.
The bullpen ended it with four shutout innings from Scott Alexander, Peter Moylan, Joakim Soria, and Al Alburquerque. With Cleveland’s walk-off victory, the Royals kept pace to stay 1.5 games out of first place. At 49-47, they are one game better than their pace in 2014, when they went to the World Series. After a short slide, the Royals appear to be righting their ship with a four-game winning streak, and they can go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon.