CHICAGO (AP) –– Jose Abreu hit a two-run homer, and the Chicago White Sox kept Kansas City out of first place in the AL Central with a 5-4 victory over the Royals on Saturday night.
The Detroit Tigers, who lost 12-3 at Minnesota on Saturday, stayed one game ahead of the Royals entering the final day of the regular season. Kansas City clinched at least a wild card spot on Friday.
Danny Duffy (9-12) lasted only two innings for the Royals. He allowed four runs, five hits and one walk. The White Sox jumped on him, scoring three runs in the first inning. Abreu capped the rally with his 36th home run.
Abreu broke a 31-year-old franchise record for the most homers in a season by a rookie, previously held by Ron Kittle. They are the most by a rookie since St. Louis’ Albert Pujols hit 37 in 2001.
White Sox catcher Josh Phegley homered in the second and seventh innings for the first career multihomer game.
John Danks (11-11) pitched seven solid innings to earn his first home win since June 17. He allowed two runs, five hits and two walks, and struck out three.
The Royals mounted a rally in the eighth inning against Chicago’s bullpen. After the first two batters reached, Lorenzo Cain singled home Alcides Escobar to cut the deficit to 5-3. But Eric Hosmer hit into a double play, and Billy Butler grounded out to end the threat.
Kansas City threatened again in the ninth. Mike Moustakas singled in Alex Gordon with two outs, but the Royals fell one run short.
Javy Guerra escaped the jam for his first save of the season.
Salvador Perez hit a solo shot in the seventh inning for his 17th homer.
Paul Konerko, who will retire at season’s end, was honored by the White Sox during a pregame on-field ceremony. The White Sox unveiled a statue of Konerko, gave him several gifts, and displayed a series of video tributes from ex-teammates and players around the big leagues, including one from retiring New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.
Konerko went 0-for-3 and exited in the seventh inning to a standing ovation. He then returned to the field for a curtain call.
(© 2014 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.)