It was a back and forth game until it wasn’t. The Kansas City Royals ultimately got their revenge on Dylan Cease by tagging him with seven earned runs, using a rocket ship sixth inning to zoom past the Chicago White Sox for good in a 12-5 victory over the Southsiders.
Zack Greinke gutted his way through 5.2 innings, allowing four runs. It wasn’t his best work, and like much of the last act of his career, he struggled with getting strikeouts when it counted (he only ended up with two on the evening). He allowed six hits to White Sox batters, including an absolute unit of a line drive home run to Gavin Sheets. But Greinke was also betrayed by some unfortunate defense by Edward Olivares—shocker—as well his own ill-advised stab at a ground ball that seemed likely to have turned into a double play otherwise.
In any case, the story of tonight was not the pitching staff, but the hitting, especially against a guy who had dominated the Royals like Cease had. Kansas City immediately grabbed the lead in the first inning: Salvador Perez followed consecutive singles by Bobby Witt Jr. and Vinnie Pasquantino with a sac fly, a nice start to the game. Then, after seeing the White Sox claim a 3-1 lead, MJ Melendez tied it up with a heck of a home run.
The Royals continued to fight, grabbing the lead with a rocket of a double by Vinnie Pasquantino. The 109.5 MPH hit was the hardest hit ball all night.
But it was that sixth inning that was the nail in the coffin for this game. Here’s how it went, because writing it in prose would be a long paragraph indeed:
- Olivares single
- Nick Pratto hit by pitch
- Maikel Garcia walk
- Michael Massey single
- Jackie Bradley Jr. double
- Witt flyout
- Pasquantino groundout
- Intentional walk of Salvador Perez
- Melendez single
- Olivares walk
- Pratto double
- Garcia strikeout
It was an excellent, excellent inning, giving the Royals a 12-4 lead that they would not relinquish. Max Castillo sure tried to give the White Sox a lifeline, as he loaded the bases in the top of the eighth with questionable control. Fortunately, Chicago only scored one additional run.
This game was full of great plays. The Royals drew a ton of walks and hit a bunch of aesthetically pleasing line drives to all fields. Bradley was solid and accrued three hits—two of which were doubles—and Melendez had a beautiful diving catch in the outfield, too. Witt stole multiple bases. It was just a heck of a fun time. The Royals Twitter account has a highlight reel of that sixth inning, albeit in that frustrating portrait mode that cuts off the score and half the visual information of the broadcast:
Digital media orientation decisions aside, the Royals secure their second two-game win streak of the year, the first of which they’ve had at home. Kansas City wins their 10th of the year, dropping the White Sox to 12-24 along the way, with Amir Garret dropping his lunch to punctuate it.