The Kansas City Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox in a comfortable 8-2 victory. Danny Duffy pitched well and the offense brought the firepower through good plate discipline and extra base knocks.
Duffy, in his second start back from the disabled list, looked shaky early. In the bottom of the first, he yielded three singles—to Yoan Moncada, Jose Abreu, and Matt Davidson. That gave the White Sox a quick 1-0 lead.
Though his stat line suggests otherwise, Duffy was quite good for most of the night. He went six full innings, giving up eight hits and walking two. Five of those baserunners came in the first inning or the seventh inning, where he was removed after allowing two men on base. One of those came home to roost to give the White Sox their second run of the evening, but Duffy was clean otherwise. From innings two through six, Duffy stymied the Sox, striking out two and allowing five total baserunners.
This was a night that the Royals’ starter didn’t need to be on top of things, though. The Royals offense came alive, striking in multiple frames and through a variety of offensive tricks. Kansas City scored in the fourth inning for their first two runs of the contest; Eric Hosmer, on first base due to a walk, scored from first on Salvador Perez’ first double of the evening. Mike Moustakas then singled home Perez.
The Royals would grab what would prove to be the game-winning run in the very next frame off Alex Gordon’s opposite-field solo homer. Gordon, who also walked tonight, raised his OPS to .615. Gordon has raised his OPS 57 points in the last 18 days, quite an impressive feat in September.
Kansas City struck again against the White Sox bullpen, grabbing three runs in the seventh and two in the eighth. It was a profoundly un-Royals couple of innings, as they walked three times and hit four doubles to score those five runs.
After the offensive onslaught, manager Ned Yost brought in the ‘kids,’ swapping in Drew Butera, Cheslor Cuthbert, Paulo Orlando, and Jorge Bonifacio to relieve the aching muscles of Perez, Moose, Cain, and Melky, who have all had very long seasons and accrued their fair share of dings.
Hosmer, in his quest for his first career 200-hit season, added two hits today and now needs 14 more for the rest of the season.
The Royals stand at 76-78. They have eight games left. While their playoff hopes have all but evaporated, a winning season is still in the cards with a strong 6-2 finish. Regardless, we’ve reached the last games of a great era of baseball.