The Royals put on a firework display at Guaranteed Rate Field on Wednesday night, as the club smacked four home runs in route to a 9-1 win. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak.
Kansas City’s offense got things going quickly off Giolito in the top of the first. After singles by Whit Merrifield and Salvador Perez, Ryan O’Hearn broke the scoreless tie on a sacrifice fly to right field — making it 1-0.
Following six shutout innings against the White Sox in his previous start, 24-year-old Carlos Hernandez took the ball with the tall task of carving up a team that he just faced. Fortunately for Kansas City, Chicago still hadn’t figured him out. The hard-throwing righty opened his outing with three scoreless frames.
The man who started the home run barrage was “Mr. I-29”, otherwise known as Edward Olivares. In the top of the second, Olivares clubbed his third home run in his last four starts to give the Royals a 2-0 lead. Later in the inning, Merrifield drove in the third run on his second hit of the day — padding the lead to 3-0.
In the top of third, Kansas City opened things up. For the second consecutive inning, the Royals played long ball. Only this time, it was off the bat of Salvador Perez. Perez, who singled off Giolito in the first, demolished his 27th home run of the season to bump the score to 5-0. His 27 home runs ties a career-high with two months left.
In the ensuing inning, Michael A. Taylor pounded his 10th home run of the season off of the foul pole in left field. With a 6-0 cushion, Hernandez continued to hold the White Sox in check.
Behind strong defense, Hernandez worked five complete innings and allowed just one run. In his last 11 innings against Chicago, the 24-year-old has a 0.82 ERA.
Just when the bats had cooled off for a few innings, the Royals’ offense came back to life in the top of the seventh. With two outs and a runner on third, O’Hearn blasted a two-run shot over the wall in center field. In the eighth, Nicky Lopez dropped an RBI-single to left field to make it 9-1. Josh Staumont, Jake Brentz, Domingo Tapia, and Ervin Santana combined to toss four scoreless innings and shut the door on Chicago.
The Royals, 46-60, will go for a series win in the rubber match tomorrow night. Daniel Lynch aims for his third straight quality start against Dallas Keuchel. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. CT.