KANSAS CITY -- Eric Hosmer and Jorge Bonifacio weren't even supposed to play on Friday night.But Hosmer nearly helped win the game in the ninth inning with a huge stolen base. Bonifacio, nursing a bruised foot, then was instrumental in the game-winning rally in the 10th by drawing an important
KANSAS CITY -- Eric Hosmer and Jorge Bonifacio weren't even supposed to play on Friday night.
But Hosmer nearly helped win the game in the ninth inning with a huge stolen base. Bonifacio, nursing a bruised foot, then was instrumental in the game-winning rally in the 10th by drawing an important pinch-hit walk that contributed to the Royals' thrilling 7-6 walk-off win in 10 innings over the White Sox.
Hosmer had flown out of town on Friday morning to tend to a family matter. But he let the Royals know there was a chance he would be back by game time. He indeed made it, though he wasn't in the starting lineup.
Hosmer entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Ramon Torres in the fourth inning, striking out with a runner on second. But Hosmer remained in the game.
"He got here just a little bit before game time," manager Ned Yost said. "He got a little something to eat and got himself ready. I told him, 'Look, just be watching. We get into a situation where we get some runners on and Torres is coming up, I'm going to definitely insert you in that spot.' It was great to have him back."
It was a hectic day for Hosmer, to say the least.
"My goal was to be gone for one day," Hosmer said. "If you go on bereavement list it's a couple days. We were going to be a guy short if I didn't make it back. I realized it was Friday night and a lot of traffic. Luckily I made it through. Good way to end the day with a 'W.'"
Hosmer led off the ninth with a single and two outs later, he stole second base. But after a walk to Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas flied out on a 3-0 pitch, ending the threat.
"We try to be aggressive and take the extra base where a hit wins it," Hosmer said of his steal. "That's how we've played over the years. Take the risk."
Added Yost, "Yeah, that was big. We didn't capitalize on it. I wish we could have. Moose had a great swing at a 3-0 pitch. Just missed it. [Hosmer] put us in a position to win the ballgame in the ninth."
The Royals won it in the 10th after Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon led off with singles. Yost, who had wanted to give Bonifacio a full night off with the sore foot he sustained on a foul ball on Thursday, pinch-hit Bonifacio.
Bonifacio fell behind 0-2, but he laid off two high pitches. Then, White Sox reliever Tyler Clippard unleashed a wild pitch, moving the runners up and the count full. Bonifacio fouled another pitch off before taking ball four, loading the bases and setting up a walk-off sacrifice fly from Whit Merrifield.
"Boni with a great at-bat," Yost said. "After the wild pitch, looking for something to elevate, he didn't bite on anything down in the zone."
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.