Just when you thought the KC Royals were going to be sellers, they may actually be buyers. They moved to within seven games of both first place in the American League Central and the AL wild card with a 5-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
James Shields finally pitched like the ace the Royals expected when the acquired him. He did reach the 100 pitch mark a little earlier than I would have liked, but he still put together a gem in the pitcher’s duel with White Sox starter Jose Quintana.
Shields did not allow a run over seven innings. He did allow eight hits and two walks and only struck out two, but battled to keep his team in the game.
The Royals got on the board in the 3rd inning on David Lough‘s solo homerun. It was his third of the season. The score would stay 1-0 until the seventh, when Miguel Tejada drove in the Royals second run with a sac fly.
Kelvin Herrera gave up another homerun in the 8th inning that cut the Royals lead to just 2-1. However his offense came back to put the game away.
With runners on the corners and no outs, Salvador Perez singled home one run. Mike Moustakas followed with another RBI single. That chased White Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom. In came David Purcey, who allowed a Lough sac fly (though the ball was dropped by the defensive replacement in left field and everyone was safe). After a wild pitch, Purcey struck out the final two batters of the inning.
Luke Hochevar induced three straight ground outs to finish off the White Sox in the ninth. Oh and he only threw four pitches.
*For more on the White Sox, head on over to South Side Hit Girl.
**No former Royal will be headed to the Royals Hall of Fame. No one received enough votes.