KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Brent Morel continued his torrid pace in September. It just wasn’t enough to lift the Chicago White Sox over the Royals.
Morel’s two-run homer in the eighth tied the score, but Eric Hosmer’s RBI double in the ninth gave the Kansas City Royals a 7-6 walk-off victory over the White Sox.
While the Royals have won six straight, their longest since winning six in a row May 2-7, 2009, the White Sox have dropped six in a row.
“It’s tough,” Morel said. “We haven’t been playing good. We never gave up. We came back and tied the game.”
Morel homered to left on a 2-1 pitch from rookie left-hander Tim Collins with Alejandro De Aza, who had singled, aboard.
Morel has six home runs and 12 RBIs in his past 14 games. He has five home runs in his past 28 at-bats. He has six September home runs after hitting only two in the first five months.
Hosmer’s liner over the head of left fielder Juan Pierre scored Alex Gordon, who led off the ninth with a single. After Melky Cabrera’s sacrifice bunt moved Gordon to second, Billy Butler was walked intentionally.
“Billy is one of the better hitters in this league,” Hosmer said. “It’s a smart thing to do with a lefty on the mound and a lefty on deck. I kind of knew it was coming.”
Hosmer fouled off left-hander Matt Thornton’s first pitch before his double on the next offering.
“He throws a lot of fastballs and throws so hard,” Hosmer said. “You’ve just got to sell out on that with him. After that first one, I was pretty late. Fortunately enough I got the hit over his head and we win the ball game. I knew I hit it pretty good. He (Pierre) was kind of drifting back. I was just hoping at that point. Then I finally saw him leap up and the ball get under. It’s just a great feeling, six in a row and try to keep this thing rolling.”
It was the Royals’ 12th walk-off victory this season.
Greg Holland (5-1) worked the ninth to pick up the victory. Thornton (1-5) took the loss.
Hosmer, Jeff Francoeur and Mike Moustakas, the Royals’ fourth, fifth and sixth hitters, combined to go 9-for-13, with five RBIs and scored four runs.
Moustakas, who a minor league-leading 36 home runs last year, hit Philip Humber’s 2-1 pitch into the right-field bullpen for his third home run with Francoeur aboard in the fourth. After going 281 at-bats without a home run, Moustakas has hit two in his past three games.
“It was definitely a battle, but at the same time, our guys put up six runs,” Humber said. “I expect to win the game, and I’m disappointed in my performance. It was a game we should have won, but at the same time, you’ve got to tip your hat to those guys-one through five, they’ve got a pretty solid lineup over there. Hopefully, next time I face them I can make better pitches.”
Francoeur singled home Butler in the first and Hosmer in the fourth. Francoeur led off the sixth with a single, advanced to third on Moustakas’ single and scored on Johnny Giavotella’s fielder’s choice grounder. Butler drove in Alex Gordon with a first-inning single.
Royals starter Felipe Paulino allowed three runs on seven hits, while walking three and striking out three. He left with a 6-3 lead that the bullpen failed to hold.
Humber, who was 1-0 with a 1.26 ERA in his previous three starts, gave up six runs on nine hits and two walks, while striking out four in six innings in a no-decision. That matched the most runs Humber had permitted this year.
A.J. Pierzynski, who had three hits Thursday, drove in two of the White Sox’ runs with a sacrifice fly in the first and a single in the seventh.
The White Sox tied it at 6-6 in the eighth on Brent Morel’s two-run homer off Royals rookie left-hander Tim Collins.
Alexei Ramirez had three singles and drove in a run in the fifth for the White Sox.
Notes: White Sox DH Adam Dunn is 3 for 84 against left-handers, a .036 average. He has struck out 161 times, which is the second highest total in franchise history. Dave Nicholson holds the club record with 175 in 1963. … The Royals have four players with 80 or more RBIs — Francoeur 80, Butler 89, Gordon 85 and Cabrera 82 — to match a club record. It was the fifth time in franchise history they had four players drive in 80 runs. They last accomplished that in 2002 with Carlos Beltran, Raul Ibanez, Mike Sweeney and Joe Randa. … White Sox rookie RHP Zach Stewart will make his 10th start of the season Saturday. He lost his only start to the Royals on Aug. 12 at Chicago, allowing two runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings. … Rookie LHP Everett Teaford will make his second big league start Saturday. He threw five scoreless innings Sunday to win at Seattle.
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