Embroiled in an April funk, Eric Hosmer sought simplicity on Wednesday at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Hosmer had opened a seven-game road trip with four hits in 23 at-bats. His batting average hovered below .200. He had racked up just two extra-base hits in 20 games.
“I’ve been seeing the ball well,” Hosmer said. “I’ve just been pulling off everything a little bit. That’s at least what I feel. I just tried to concentrate on staying the other way today.”
The approach resulted in his first three-hit day of the season in a 5-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Hosmer finished 3 for 5 with a triple and a bunt single against the shift. He raised his batting average to .220 as the Royals concluded a winless trip through Texas and Chicago.
Never miss a local story.
“I felt a little better,” Hosmer said. “It’s still frustrating when we can’t pull a win across.”
Hosmer missed out on another hit in the fifth, when he sprayed a deep line drive to left field with two men on and two outs. The baseball found the glove of left fielder Melky Cabrera, who fell on his back after making the catch. It represented Hosmer’s hardest contact in weeks.
If Hosmer missed out on a hit there, he made up for it in the seventh, bunting for a hit against left-handed reliever Dan Jennings, who features a difficult slider. The White Sox defense had put on a slight shift. Hosmer dropped down a bunt to the third-base side that got past Jennings.
“When (Jennings) came in, I started thinking about it,” Hosmer said. “Just because he’s got a pretty good slider. He throws it a good amount. You know it’s coming and it’s still pretty hard to hit, so I told myself I’d give it one good crack at it, and then try to get it into Salvy’s (Perez) hands.”