KANSAS CITY -- Lorenzo Cain singled off reliever Matt Albers to score Christian Colón from second base with two outs in the 14th inning on Wednesday night to give the Royals a 3-2, walk-off victory over the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium. Cain's first hit in seven at-bats on the
KANSAS CITY -- Lorenzo Cain singled off reliever Matt Albers to score Christian Colón from second base with two outs in the 14th inning on Wednesday night to give the Royals a 3-2, walk-off victory over the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium. Cain's first hit in seven at-bats on the night was his fifth career walk-off hit and evened the three-game series at one win apiece.
"I've been ready to go home for a while now," Cain said. "To come through for the boys was a very, very good feeling."
Jarrod Dyson opened the 13th with a triple, leaving the Royals' fastest runner as the potential winning run with none out. But Dan Jennings, working in his second inning of relief, cruised through Drew Butera and Alex Gordon on six pitches for two strikeouts and then fanned Alcides Escobar to escape.
"It was a perfect situation," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "What we were known so well for last year was putting the ball in play, [but] we couldn't put the ball in play."
"Even the second inning, he went out there, after the triple, he reached back and got a little something extra," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Jennings. "Hoped to get a little momentum out of that."
Tim Anderson blooped a single with two out in the 11th inning over the head of first baseman Eric Hosmer, scoring Todd Frazier with the go-ahead run, as the White Sox claimed a 2-1 lead off reliever Chien-Ming Wang. Anderson struck out five times on Wednesday and seven times overall in the first two games at Kauffman Stadium, but still dropped the 2-2 pitch into right. The Royals quickly tied it off closer David Robertson with Hosmer, who reached on a leadoff walk after being down at 1-2 in the count, scoring on Salvador Perez's double to right-center in the bottom half.
"Obviously, I don't want to come in and walk the leadoff guy," a frustrated Robertson said. "Hosmer has been deadly all year. I'm trying to keep the ball in the yard with him, and I didn't make enough good pitches. I let him slip away. I got ahead, 0-1, and just couldn't finish him."
José Quintana lost a chance to gain a 10th victory for the first time in his career when the White Sox blew their fifth save in as many chances in games at Kauffman Stadium this season. Quintana was brilliant over 7 1/3 innings, but after Paulo Orlando's one-out double to left in the eighth, Ventura pulled his starter after 97 pitches in the 102-degree heat.
Nate Jones entered the game, and one pitch later, Cheslor Cuthbert tied the contest with a double to right-center. Jones pitched out of the jam by striking out Cain and getting Hosmer on a tapper to the mound. But Quintana was left with his 58th no-decision since 2012, despite allowing one run on four hits, while striking out five and walking one.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Lead stays at one: With Quintana dealing, the White Sox had a chance to expand the lead in the seventh when Omar Narváez walked and Tyler Saladino singled off Ian Kennedy with one out. Brian Flynn came on and yielded J.B. Shuck's single to center, but Narvaez was thrown out at the plate by Orlando. Ventura challenged the call, but it was ruled to stand as the second out. Peter Moylan replaced Flynn and struck out Anderson to end the threat. More >
"I know he's a catcher, he's a pretty slow guy," Orlando said. "I just tried throwing it [on] one hop and made a good throw."
Orlando would double up on his defensive prowess in the ninth inning, gunning down Carlos Sanchez, who was pinch-running for Narvaez, to pull off an 8-6 double play.
"He's a kid that's worked real hard to get to the big leagues," Yost said of Orlando. "He's played all three positions [in the outfield], and he plays them all really well."
Groundhog Day: For the second straight game, the combination of Orlando and Cuthbert at the top of the order produced a run, though this time in a much more dramatic fashion. It marked the fifth time the White Sox had held a lead entering the seventh inning or later at Kauffman Stadium and the Royals had gone on to tie the game or take the lead.
He gone: White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper was not around long -- getting tossed in the bottom of the first. After Kennedy seemed to get a few close calls in the top of the first and Quintana didn't get the same against Orlando, Cooper had one too many complaints and was ejected by home-plate umpire Pat Hoberg. It was Cooper's seventh career ejection and second this season.
Aw Shuck-s: After giving up at least one home run in nine straight starts, Kennedy appeared to be making strides in that area. Entering Wednesday, he had gone three straight starts without surrendering a homer, a streak that came to an end in the third as Shuck smashed his fourth into the visitors' bullpen in right. The solo shot traveled 411 feet from the plate with an exit velocity of 101 mph, according to Statcast™, and moved Kennedy into a tie with Cleveland's Josh Tomlin for most home runs yielded with 27.
Fortunately for Kennedy, that was the only run he surrendered.
"[He gave] up the one run on a 2-0 fastball where he's trying to get a strike," Yost said. "But [he] just pitched great. Did a great job."
"I couldn't seem to find a way to get out of it. I couldn't keep that runner from scoring on second. I couldn't make enough good pitches." -- Robertson, who had the second of two blown saves for the White Sox
LATE LEADS AREN'T SAFE
The White Sox took their eighth walk-off loss and lost despite leading after seven for the AL-worst seventh time this season. It was the third time such a loss happened against the Royals.
White Sox: Right-hander Miguel González (2-6, 4.09 ERA) will take the mound on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. CT in the finale of this three-game set at Kauffman Stadium. Gonzalez has posted seven straight quality starts, with a 2.76 ERA across those outings. But the White Sox have gone just 3-4 in those games.
Royals: Left-hander Danny Duffy (8-1, 2.97) will start the series finale against the White Sox on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. CT. Duffy has emerged as one of the best pitchers in the Majors this year since becoming a starter. He notched a club-record 16 strikeouts against the Rays earlier this month and has not pitched in a loss since June 22. The Royals are 13-3 in his starts.
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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.
Scott Chasen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Kansas City and covered the Royals on Wednesday.