Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) – Eric Hosmer’s two-out double in the top of
the 13th inning lifted the Kansas City Royals to a 3-2 victory over the
Chicago White Sox in a game marred by a benches-clearing brawl earlier on.
Long before Hosmer struck the biggest blow with a shot down the right-field
line off Jake Petricka (0-1) that scored Jarrod Dyson from first, the teams
literally came to blows at the conclusion of the seventh inning.
Tempers flared after Royals starter Yordano Ventura fielded a comebacker from
Adam Eaton and shouted an expletive at the Chicago outfielder before tossing
the ball to first base. Both teams immediately ran on to the field, with a few
punches being thrown prior to order being eventually restored after several
Ventura and White Sox starter Chris Sale were ejected for their part of the
melee, as were Kansas City’s Lorenzo Cain and Edinson Volquez as well as
Chicago hurler Jeff Samardzija.
Tensions had heightened prior to the incident, as Ventura hit Jose Abreu with
a pitch in the fourth inning and Sale plunked Mike Moustakas a frame later
that triggered a warning to both clubs.
Both starters were still in the game at the time of the brawl. Ventura, who
also was ejected for throwing at a hitter in his previous outing Saturday
against Oakland, fanned eight while yielding two runs on five hits over seven
innings. Sale scattered nine hits and held Kansas City to two runs through
Hosmer and Moustakas both ended 3-for-5 in the Royals’ 15th win in their last
18 matchups with Chicago, while Kendrys Morales knocked in two runs with a
first-inning single before Kansas City went scoreless over the next 11 frames.
The White Sox mustered only seven hits in the opener of this four-game set,
with Abreu finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI double.
Neither team could do much with the bats following the ugly fracas, with the
game providing few scoring opportunities until Moustakas singled with one out
in the 13th and was erased on a fielder’s choice from Dyson, who entered in
the eighth as Cain’s replacement.
Hosmer then drove a ball into the right-field corner and the speedy Dyson beat
an off-line throw home for the first run since the fifth inning.
The hit made a winner out of Franklin Morales (2-0) for tossing a perfect
bottom of the 12th, and Wade Davis allowed just a single in the 13th to notch
his fourth save.
Sale bounced back strongly from a shaky opening inning in which the Royals
scored their only runs in regulation. Singles by Moustakas and Cain and a walk
to Hosmer loaded the bases with one out for Kendrys Morales, who laced a base
hit up the middle to stake Kansas City to a quick 2-0 lead.
The Chicago ace was able to prevent further damage with the aid of his
defense, which turned four double plays during Sale’s time on the mound.
Ventura, meanwhile, yielded just one hit while keeping the White Sox scoreless
through his first three innings of work. He plunked Abreu and permitted a
single to Adam LaRoche in the bottom of the fourth, then got a pair of
groundouts before Alexei Ramirez tied the contest with a clutch single through
the right side of the infield.
Chicago pulled even an inning later on back-to-back two-out doubles by Melky
Cabrera and Abreu.
Kansas City threatened in the seventh on consecutive singles by Alex Gordon
and Salvador Perez, but Sale again escaped trouble when Ramirez snared
Christian Colon’s hard smash and doubled Gordon off second for the White Sox’
fourth double play of the night.
The Royals also have come out on top in 16 of their last 19 visits to U.S.
Cellular Field … Kansas City has won the opening game in all six of its
series this season … Abreu has 11 RBI while going 11-of-25 during a six-game
hitting streak … Hosmer has now drawn at least one walk in six consecutive
games … The White Sox fell to 0-8 when scoring three runs or less.