KANSAS CITY -- It may not have been Royals right-hander Jakob Junis' crispest outing in comparison to his recent work, but it certainly was plenty serviceable.Junis provided eight solid innings Monday night against the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium, allowing seven hits and three runs in Kansas City's 4-3 walk-off
KANSAS CITY -- It may not have been Royals right-hander Jakob Junis' crispest outing in comparison to his recent work, but it certainly was plenty serviceable.
Junis provided eight solid innings Monday night against the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium, allowing seven hits and three runs in Kansas City's 4-3 walk-off victory in the 10th inning. The Royals won it when Brian Goodwin doubled to lead off the 10th, and right-hander Jeanmar Gomez tried to get Goodwin at third on Alcides Escobar's sacrifice bunt but threw it high and into the left-field foul territory, allowing Goodwin to score.
Goodwin appeared as if he would have easily beat the throw to third.
"Yeah, I was a little surprised [Gomez threw to third]," Goodwin said. "I still went into the base hard because you never know in that situation. It was just a great bunt by Esky."
The Royals have won nine of their last 10 home games.
"Especially about the last three weeks, the feeling of us never being out of a game has returned," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Finding ways to score, I'm a lot more confident in that."
Junis retired 15 of the final 16 hitters he faced.
"We didn't really change the game plan [after the third inning]," Junis said. "We just kept pounding the zone and we got some quick outs that way."
It also was Junis' seventh straight start of holding opponents to three earned runs or fewer.
Junis' only hiccup came in the third when he allowed a leadoff home run to Adam Engel. Later in the inning with Jose Abreu on first, Daniel Palka roped a two-run home run to right. Both home runs came off four-seam fastballs.
Junis walked none and struck out five. It was Junis' fourth straight start without walking a batter, and in his last six starts, his strikeout-to-walk ratio is 36-to-3.
"I never want to walk guys and give free bases, so anytime I can keep guys off the bases it's good for me as a pitcher," Junis said. "Hopefully we continue a trend."
Whit Merrifield led off the Royals' first with his 12th home run this season off Lucas Giolito's first pitch. It was Merrifield's third leadoff home run.
With the Royals trailing 3-2 in the sixth, rookie first baseman Ryan O'Hearn continued the amazing start to his career with his 10th home run, a solo shot to center off Giolito. O'Hearn added to his Royals record streak of becoming the first player in club history to have 10 home runs and 24 RBIs now in 30 games.
Giolito finished seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits in the no-decision.
HE SAID IT
"I'm not thinking about numbers. I just go out there and play as hard as I can and have quality at-bats. For the home runs to keep piling up like that and finally get to 10 is awesome. Hopefully I'll keep on going and [we will] keep getting wins." -- O'Hearn, on his home run tally
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
A White Sox challenge in the first inning likely cost the Royals a run. Raul Mondesi walked with none out, and promptly stole second. The White Sox challenged that Mondesi came off the bag on his pop-up slide, and the safe call was overturned. Alex Gordon followed with a double off the center-field wall that would have scored Mondesi.
Right-hander Brad Keller (7-6, 3.14 ERA) takes the mound for the Royals in Game 2 of the series Tuesday night at 7:15 CT against Chicago. Right-hander Dylan Covey (5-12, 5.44 ERA) will start for the White Sox. Keller gave up 11 hits but just one earned run over seven innings in a loss to the Indians last Wednesday.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.