KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A little bunt by Alcides Escobar paid off big for the Kansas City Royals.
Sox reliever Jeanmar Gomez threw away Escobar’s bunt in the 10th inning Monday night, giving the Royals a 4-3 win.
Brian Goodwin led off the Kansas City 10th with a sharp double. Escobar followed with a sacrifice, and Gomez (0-2) made a wild toss over third baseman Yolmer Sanchez, letting the speedy Goodwin score easily.
“Goodwin is a good runner, and he was safe anyway,” Escobar said. “If [Gomez] made a good throw, he was safe anyway.”
“I knew I needed to move the runner to third base, and I made a good bunt. The pitcher went to third base, and, game over.”
Sox manager Rick Renteria wasn’t so sure Goodwin would have been safe with a good throw.
“It looked like he recognized the play was available to him, and he just got a little flustered, probably a little excited and just didn’t make a very good throw,” he said.
Jake Newberry (2-0) pitched a perfect top of the 10th to get the win.
Whit Merrifield homered on the first pitch from Sox starter Lucas Giolito. Ryan O’Hearn hit a solo homer in the sixth that made it 3-all – he connected against the Sox in his big league debut July 31 and now has 10 home runs in 30 games.
Adam Engel and Daniel Palka each homered in the Sox’s third against Jakob Junis.
“They were throwing me heaters the first AB and start of the second, and I think they noticed me diving over the plate a little bit and missing,” Palka said of his drive just inside the foul pole. “I just kind of stayed back on the one I got. It was a pretty good pitch, just right where I was looking.”
Jose Abreu, activated from the disabled list before the game, had three hits for the Sox. He was put on the DL on Aug. 22 after surgery for testicular torsion.
Junis went eight innings, allowing seven hits. He faced the minimum after giving up Palka’s homer, and has a
2.15 ERA in his past seven starts. He wasn’t fazed by the rough third inning.
“We didn’t really change our game plan,” Junis said. “We stayed aggressive, kept pounding the strike zone. We got some quick outs that way.”
Giolito pitched seven innings for his fifth quality start in his past six outings.
Merrifield hit his third leadoff homer this season, and the Royals added another run in the second after a couple of unusual plays.
With a runner on second, Goodwin hit a slow dribbler up the third base line that appeared to be headed foul, but Sanchez touched the ball in fair territory and resulted in an infield hit. Escobar followed with a blooper to right field, and a run scored while Goodwin was thrown out at second.
Sox: Right-hander Nate Jones is close to returning from the 60-day disabled list. He has been on the DL since June 24 with a muscle strain in his arm.
Royals: Manager Ned Yost said that right-hander Ian Kennedy has only the “normal pitching soreness” following his first appearance since June 23. Kennedy went six innings Sunday in Minnesota. He gave up one run on four hits. ... Outfielder Brett Phillips, out since Sept. 5 with a bruised shoulder, took 30 swings off the tee. He said he can swing without pain, but the follow-through causes him to tighten up. There is no timetable for his return.