CHICAGO – After two errors nearly cost the Sox, two great throws by Avisail Garcia helped them hold on for a victory.
Matt Davidson drove in three runs with his 26th homer and a double, Yoan Moncada hit a two-run drive and the Sox overcame a four-run deficit to beat the Kansas City Royals, 7-6, on Friday night.
Juan Minaya pitched a scoreless ninth for his sixth save as rookie Reynaldo Lopez won his third straight straight. Minaya was aided by a sharp double play that ended the game and dropped the Royals 4 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the second American League wild card with nine games left.
With Whit Merrifield on second and one out, Lorenzo Cain singled to right. Garcia threw out Merrifield at the plate – despite Garcia slipping first – then Cain was thrown out trying to advance to second on two crisp relays.
"I just tried to throw the ball as quick as I can because he's a fast runner," Garcia said. "So, that's what I did. "Just stand up and throw because when you think about it, that's when you throw the ball somewhere else."
Garcia also threw out Alex Gordon at the plate in the sixth, preventing the tying run from scoring from second base on Merrifield's single.
"We need all these games down the stretch," Cain said. "To lose that one that way the one we did, it's tough. That's just how the season has been going for us."
Alcides Escobar lined a solo drive and Eric Hosmer singled for two RBIs in a six-run, third-inning inning for the Royals. Sox shortstop Tim Anderson made his major-league leading 27th error, and Moncada couldn't handle a grounder at second, leading to four unearned runs in the third.
"It was a pretty exciting finish to a ballgame that kind of got a little ugly early on," Sox manager Rick Renteria said.
Lopez (3-3) allowed six runs – two earned – and 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings. Jason Hammel (8-13) allowed seven runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings, raising his ERA to 5.32.
"Embarrassingly bad," Hammel said after being hit hard for his third straight start. "I gave that one away. It's just garbage."
Davidson, who returned after sitting out Thursday with a low-grade fever, and Moncada each hit two-run drives in a five-run fourth as the Sox took a 7-6 lead.
The Sox held on to move past Detroit and out of the AL Central cellar for the first time since before the All-Star break.
YOST TO RETURN
Manager Ned Yost said he planned to return for 2018, the final season on his contract and his ninth with Kansas City. "Was there ever a question about it?" the 63-year-old Yost said. "One more year, two more years, we'll see what happens." Yost has the most wins among Royals managers at 624.
Royals: C Salvador Perez left with soreness in his jaw after being hit by a foul tip in the fourth.
Sox: Manager Rick Renteria doesn't know whether right-handed pitcher Carson Fulmer, who left Thursday's game in Houston in the first inning with a blister on his right index finger, will be able to make his next scheduled start.
Royals lefty Danny Duffy (8-9. 3.71) is to face Sox right-hander Dylan Covey (0-6, 8.18) on Saturday night. Duffy will make his second start since returning from the disabled list (left elbow impingement). It will be Covey's third start since being reinstated from the DL (strained left oblique) on Aug. 15.