Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cain's late HR pushes Royals past White Sox

Lorenzo Cain belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Royals edged the White Sox, 7-5, on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Cain knew it was out when he hit it.
"I don't hit many," Cain said, "but when I do, I usually know it's out."
Cain had been hit by White Sox pitchers twice in the series, and admits that might have been a motivating factor. More >
"Well, it felt good to hit [the homer]," Cain said. "This series has definitely been intense."
Eric Hosmer also hit a three-run homer for the Royals, whose bullpen tossed four shutout innings.
Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer for the White Sox, now 0-2 to start the season. More >
"It was a great game. Guys were back and forth and battling. We scratched back and got back into it, and they did, too," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You've got to be able to withstand it all.
"In the end they got the big hit with Cain hitting a homer. But our guys battled. It was good. We got out of some tough spots. We fought back. It was nice to see."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tough for the Duff: Royals left-hander Danny Duffy was in cruise control with two outs in the second when he threw a pitch behind Adam LaRoche, prompting a warning from home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt. Then Duffy served up a double to LaRoche to right that Alex Rios seemed to misplay slightly. Gordon Beckham reached on a swinging bunt and then Flowers skied a fly to left that got caught up in the howling winds for a three-run homer.More >
He's got a glove, too: Jose Abreu is known primarily for his explosive offensive game, but he has looked good in the field during these first two games. On Wednesday, he reached into the stands to grab an Alcides Escobar popup in the first inning. The catch came on 3-2 contact and possibly prevented more damage in the inning than the one run scored. Abreu barehanded Mike Moustakas' slowly hit grounder with runners on second and third in the fourth and fired a perfect strike home to nail Salvador Perez at the plate for the second out.
Have you heard the one about the no-decision: Make it an even 40 no-decisions for Jose Quintana since 2012, the most in the Majors during that time by six over Kyle Lohse. Quintana was not sharp on Wednesday, needing 102 pitches to get through five innings, in which he allowed five runs on nine hits. He remains winless lifetime against the Royals.
"They have a pretty good lineup. They put the ball in play and they have a lot of contact," said Quintana, who is the only active pitcher in baseball with at least five starts against the Royals without a win. "This game for me, though was one pitch. The homer [by Hosmer] changed my game and that's all."
Power surge: Hosmer's three-run homer in the third inning was one of four Royals' homers this season already -- remember they were last in all of baseball in 2014 with just 95.
"Sure, it always feels good to hit homers," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "But we've got a lot of ways to score runs. We can manufacture runs, we have speed.
"But sure, the homers are nice. And we got guys who can hit them."
Hosmer said he hit a changeup from Quintana.
"He'd been getting his fastball past me," Hosmer said, "so I just tried to time [a changeup] and I hit it in a good spot."
QUOTABLE
"It felt like a one-run game to me." -- Royals reliever Ryan Madson on closing out the Royals' 10-1 win Monday. Madson hadn't pitched in the Major Leagues since 2011.
"We've been over that. I don't even think about it any more. It's just who I am now." -- John Danks, Thursday's starter, on adjusting to his lower arm angle and new leg kick on delivery.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Quintana has given up just 14 homers to left-handed hitters during his career -- two each to Moustakas and Hosmer.
WHAT'S NEXT
White Sox: Danks, the longest-tenured member of the White Sox, begins his ninth season as part of the rotation. He brings a 7-0 record lifetime against the Royals into this Thursday start and has a 4-0 mark at Kauffman Stadium.
Royals: The Royals conclude the three-game set with the White Sox and will send out right-hander Edinson Volquez, who will make his Royals debut after signing a two-year deal over the winter. Volquez has faced the White Sox only once -- in his Major League debut in 2005 when he was with the Rangers.
Thursday's finale starts at 1:10 p.m. CT and can be heard on Gameday Audioand seen on MLB.TV.

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