KANSAS CITY — The Royals have had trouble lately with runners in scoring position, especially at the top of the lineup.
But that wasn’t the case on Friday night in a 6-4 win over the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium. That snapped a six-game losing skid for the Royals.
Adalberto Mondesi came through with a big two-out RBI single in the seventh to break a 4-4 tie, and Jorge Soler followed with an RBI double to make it 6-4. Mondesi also delivered a game-tying double in the sixth.
This came one day after Mondesi struck out three times on 10 pitches, and stranded a career-high seven runners in Thursday’s 7-5 loss to the Red Sox.
This time around, Mondesi delivered three hits, and scored a big insurance run in the seventh, scoring from first on Soler’s two-out double into the left-field corner.
“I just leave [Thursday] in the past,” Mondesi said. “Today was a new day. I just need to stay focused because I’m not going to fix anything in the past.”
Mondesi did admit his approach at the plate on Friday was more selective.
“Yeah, just stay focused and just forget about yesterday,” Mondesi said.
It was Whit Merrifield who got the Royals going, delivering a big two-out RBI single in the third, scoring Nicky Lopez and pulling the Royals within 2-1.
Lopez had led off with a double, so Merrifield’s two-out hit provided a spiritual boost.
“I think so,” Merrifield said. “The good thing about baseball is, when things aren’t going great, you don’t have to wait a week like football to play another game. You go out and play again the next day. New game today, fresh game. It was nice to, the first time we threatened to push one across … that helped for sure.”
And in the sixth, after singles by Merrifield and Alex Gordon put runners at the corners, Mondesi drove an RBI double to right, tying the score at 2.
With one out and the bases loaded, red-hot Cheslor Cuthbert roped a two-run single to right for a 4-2 lead. Cuthbert has seven RBIs in the one week since his promotion from Triple-A Omaha.
Royals starter Homer Bailey was solid for six-plus innings. Bailey surrendered a two-out, two-run double to James McCann in the third. But Bailey retired 10 of the next 11 batters he faced before a leadoff double by Tim Anderson in the seventh.
Royals right-hander Brad Boxberger came in for Bailey and was a bit unlucky. After a soft line drive to center for a single by Yolmer Sanchez put runners at the corners, Boxberger got Ryan Cordell to pop out.
Boxberger then got Leury Garcia to hit into what appeared to be a 4-6-3 double play. But the White Sox challenged the out call at first, the call was overturned, and a run scored. Then, Yoan Moncada flared one down the left-field line — 63 mph exit velocity, according to Statcast — that no one could reach, and Garcia scored the tying run.
“Box has been throwing the ball so well and he did again tonight,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He gave up a ball for a hit off the end of the bat and then a jam shot that rolled into no-man’s land. But what was impressive to me was we came right back and got two [runs].”