Royals

Edinson Volquez, Royals hold off White Sox 3-2 to open weekend series

Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar was able to steal second before the tag from Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramírez on Friday. The Royals opened a 10-game homestand with a 3-2 victory over Chicago.
Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar was able to steal second before the tag from Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramírez on Friday. The Royals opened a 10-game homestand with a 3-2 victory over Chicago. JSLEEZER@KCSTAR.COM

Luke Hochevar started his eighth inning appearance in a distressing way, surrendering a leadoff walk and a ground-rule double.

The tying run was on second with no outs, and Hochevar dug in.

“You got to go for one thing and one thing only,” Hochevar said. “You get to two strikes any way you possibly can and try to put them away. That was my approach.”

It worked. Hochevar got ahead of Tyler Salandino and Jose Abreu and put them away, with strike threes recorded on a 96 mph fastball and 92 mph cutter.

Franklin Morales finished the inning and the Royals were on their way to a 3-2 victory over the White Sox that kept their American League Central Division lead over the Twins at 9 1/2 games.

The Royals rode a strong performance by their most reliable starter, Edinson Volquez, and strung together timely hits in the middle innings.

Hochevar and Franklin pitched the eighth because Wade Davis wasn’t available after working an inning in Detroit on Thursday. Kelvin Herrera and Ryan Madson also were on the break only in case of emergency list.

That meant the Royals required a strong effort from Volquez, and that’s what they got from their most reliable starter who improved to 11-6.

“He’s been really, really for us all year, but especially his last three or four starts,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He was excellent again tonight.”

Volquez went seven innings and surrendering four hits while striking out three. This was his fourth start against the White Sox this season and he hasn’t surrendered more than two runs in any of them.

“All my pitches worked tonight, I was able to throw strikes and stay aggressive the whole time,” Volquez said.

In the process, the Royals defeated White Sox starter and nemesis John Danks.

The left-handed Danks entered the game with a 9-1 career record against the Royals, although the lone loss came earlier this season, Danks also had two of the White Sox’s three victories over Kansas City this year.

The last time the teams met, Danks blanked the Royals and Volquez 2-0 on July 17. Volquez didn’t forget.

“He beat me last time,” Volquez said. “We’re tied now.”

The game was 1-1 when the Royals batted in the decisive sixth inning.

Ben Zobrist, playing in his first game at Kauffman Stadium since last week’s trade brought him from the Athletics, laced a single to left.

Lorenzo Cain followed with a double into the left field corner, a spot that was good to the Royals all night, scoring Zobrist.

Eric Hosmer then scalded an opposite field single to score Cain, and the Royals had their two-run lead.

The Royals had opened the scoring an inning earlier.

Danks had retired 11 straight when Mike Moustakas walked on a 3-1 count. It was Danks’ first free pass of the night. Salvador Perez popped out to first, bringing up Alex Rios.

It’s been a difficult season for Rios, his first as a Royal. He was hit by a pitch and fractured a bone in his left hand in the season’s second week and missed 1 1/2 months of action. He brought a .243 batting average and two home runs into Friday’s game.

But Rios has been solid against the White Sox all season. He brought a .400 average into the game against his former team, and both of his home runs were against the Sox.

In this plate appearance, Rios send a long fly into the seats, just foul. But he got a 87-mph hanger from Danks and tomahawked it into left field corner.

Moustakas chugged around third. A relay throw from Alexei Ramirez that brought catcher Tyler Flowers off his feet allowed Moustakas to slide under the tag.

The lead didn’t last long.

Trayce Thompson, who made his major league debut earlier this week, got his first hit on an infield single.

The son of former NBA star Mychal Thompson and brother of Klay, who just won an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors, then scored his first run when Abreu doubled to right.

The White Sox finished the scoring when Adam LaRoche crushed a 426-foot home run off Greg Holland in the ninth.

But the eighth was the inning of lost opportunity. Two in scoring position with no outs and Hochevar came through. So did Morales, who got Melky Cabrera to fly out to right to end the inning.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @BlairKerkhoff.

Royals 3, White Sox 2


TableStyle: SP-basebattersCCI Template: SP-basebatters

Chicago

AB

R

H

BI

W

K

Avg.

Eaton cf

2

0

0

0

0

0

.268

Thompson cf

2

1

2

0

0

0

.667

Saladino 3b

4

0

0

0

0

2

.242

Abreu 1b

4

0

1

1

0

2

.295

Cabrera lf

4

0

1

0

0

0

.282

Garcia rf

4

0

0

0

0

1

.264

LaRoche dh

3

1

1

1

1

0

.218

Ramirez ss

4

0

0

0

0

0

.233

Sanchez 2b

3

0

1

0

1

0

.230

1-Garcia pr

0

0

0

0

0

0

.200

Flowers c

3

0

1

0

1

1

.218

Totals

33

2

7

2

3

6

 

TableStyle: SP-basebattersCCI Template: SP-basebatters

Kansas City

AB

R

H

BI

W

K

Avg.

Escobar ss

4

0

1

0

0

3

.275

Zobrist lf

3

1

1

0

1

0

.268

Cain cf

4

1

2

1

0

1

.306

Hosmer 1b

4

0

1

1

0

0

.319

K.Morales dh

3

0

0

0

1

1

.288

Moustakas 3b

3

1

0

0

1

1

.277

Perez c

3

0

0

0

0

0

.247

Rios rf

3

0

1

1

0

1

.245

Infante 2b

2

0

0

0

1

1

.228

Totals

29

3

6

3

4

8

 

TableStyle: SP-basebyinningsCCI Template: SP-basebyinnings

Chicago

000

001

001

2

7

0

Kansas City

000

012

00x

3

6

0

1-ran for C.Sanchez in the 9th.

LOB: Chicago 7, Kansas City 6. 2B: Tr.Thompson (1), Abreu (20), Me.Cabrera (24), L.Cain (25), Rios (11). 3B: L.Cain (6). HR: LaRoche (10), off G.Holland. RBIs: Abreu (65), LaRoche (37), L.Cain (47), Hosmer (59), Rios (19). SB: A.Escobar (10).

Runners left in scoring position: Chicago 5 (Al.Ramirez, Saladino, Av.Garcia, Me.Cabrera 2); Kansas City 4 (Hosmer, A.Escobar, S.Perez, L.Cain). RISP: Chicago 0 for 9; Kansas City 1 for 6. Runners moved up: Eaton, Av.Garcia. GIDP: C.Sanchez, Moustakas. DP: Chicago 1 (C.Sanchez, Al.Ramirez, Abreu); Kansas City 1 (Infante, A.Escobar, Hosmer).

TableStyle: SP-basepitchersCCI Template: SP-basepitchers

Chicago

IP

H

R

ER

W

K

NP

ERA

Danks L, 6-9

6

5

3

3

3

6

90

4.79

Albers

1

1

0

0

1

0

23

2.65

Jones

1

0

0

0

0

2

16

0.00

TableStyle: SP-basepitchersCCI Template: SP-basepitchers

Kansas City

IP

H

R

ER

W

K

NP

ERA

Volquez W, 11-6

7

4

1

1

2

3

101

3.11

Hochevar

0.2

1

0

0

1

2

20

3.77

F.Morales

0.1

0

0

0

0

0

2

2.40

G.Holland S, 24

1

2

1

1

0

1

21

3.21

Holds: Hochevar (2), F. Morales (6). Inherited runners-scored: F.Morales 2-0.

Umpires: Home, Chris Segal; First, Laz Diaz; Second, Alfonso Marquez; Third, Dan Bellino. Time: 3:00. Att: 36,211.

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