Kansas City Royals on Verge of Playoff Spot, Magic Number Down to One


Sep 25, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder

Lorenzo Cain

(6) hits a RBI single against the Chicago White Sox during the ninth inning at U.S Cellular Field. Kansas City defeats Chicago 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals reduced their wild card magic number to 1 with a 6-3 victory over the White Sox at Cellular Field on Thursday night.

Kansas City rallied from a 3-1 deficit with single runs in the 5th and 6th innings, 2 runs in the 8th, plus an insurance run in the 9th. Kelvin Herrera (4-3) got credit for the win by pitching a scoreless inning of relief in the 7th, while Greg Holland recorded his 45th save.

The win put Kansas City at 87-72 with 3 games left to play. The Royals remain 2 games behind Detroit in the A.L. Central after the Tigers won 4-2 in Minnesota.

On the Mound

James Shields had a quality, but not dominating, start on Thursday night. Shields lasted 6.0 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 walks, and 3 earned runs with 4 strikeouts. Shields left the game with the score tied 3-3 and finished with a no decision.

Kelvin Herrera entered in the 7th and pitched a scoreless inning despite allowing 2 singles.

Wade Davis entered in the 8th and added another scoreless inning while notching 2 strikeouts.

Greg Holland nailed down his 45th save with a scoreless 9th, allowing a walk and recording 2 strikeouts.

At the Plate

The Royals scored  run in the top of the 1st on Lorenzo Cain’s double and Eric Hosmer‘s single. To take a 1-0 lead.

Kansas City cut Chicago’s 3-1 lead to 3-2 in the 5th inning on Salvador Perez‘s leadoff triple, (aided by Sox RF Moises Sierra losing sight of the ball) and Alcides Escobar‘s RBI single.

Eric Hosmer tied up the game in the 6th with a solo home run (9).

Kansas City took command of the game by scoring 2 runs in the 8th on an RBI fielder’s choice by Billy Butler (on a botched Sox double play), and an RBI single by Alex Gordon.

KC added an insurance run in the 9th when Jarrod Dyson walked, took second on a passed ball by Phegley, and scored on Lorenzo Cain’s RBI single.

Lorenzo Cain went 4 for 5, with 3 singles, 1 double, 2 runs scored, and 1 RBI.

Overall, the Royals smacked 14 hits, drew 1 walk, and plated 6 runs.

This and That

The Royals got some gifts on botched fielding plays by Chicago.

1st, reserve outfielder Moises Sierra lost Salvador Perez’s fly ball in the lights and it turned into a triple that cost Chicago a run in the 6th. 2nd, the White Sox failed to turn what looked like a sure double play in the 8th—which ended up costing Chicago 2 runs. 3nd, reserve catcher Josh Phegley‘s passed ball cost the White Sox another run in the 9th. Chicago misplays led to 4 runs, in a game KC won by 3.

Kansas City’s 87 wins are the most recorded by the team since they won 89 games in 1989.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Eric Hosmer gets our vote, with a nod toward Lorenzo Cain’s 4 for 5 day. Hosmer went 3 for 5, with a home run, 2 singles, 1 run scored, and 2 RBI’s on the day. His 6th inning home run tied the game at 3-3, and his 1st inning single plated KC’s first run.

More from Kansas City Royals

The White Sox

September call-up Josh Phegley had big day despite his passed ball, going 2 for 4 with a single, home run (1), 1 run scored, and 2 RBI’s.

Up Next

The Royals will play the 2nd game of their final series of the season against the White Sox on Friday night. Jeremy Guthrie (12-11, 4.28 ERA) will pitch for Kansas City, against Hector Noesi (8-11. 4.76 ERA) for the White Sox. Game time is 7:10 PM CST  Friday at Cellular Field in Chicago.