Royals break out for 7-1 win over White Sox
CHICAGO (AP) When the Chicago White Sox scheduled Greek Heritage Night for Tuesday, they probably didn't consider that Mike Moustakas would be in the visiting dugout.
Moustakas put a capper on the festivities by homering twice to help the Kansas City Royals snap a four-game losing streak with a 7-1 rout.
Afterward, Moustakas was asked if he was aware of the promotion.
''Oh, I knew,'' he said. ''I was telling everybody that today was my day. It just ended up working out that way.''
Moustakas, who has 12 homers this season, went 3 for 5 with three RBIs. He raised his batting average to .198
The Royals entered the game with a major league-worst 55 homers and had managed a total of six runs during the losing streak.
''He's starting to swing the bat pretty good,'' manager Ned Yost said of Moustakas. ''We've seen him in spurts, it doesn't matter who's pitching. When he's right, he's putting good swings on the ball.
''Tonight he was really seeing the ball good, he was in a good position to hit and he was really driving the ball.''
Bruce Chen (2-2) allowed one run and five hits in five innings to get the win.
Chen has 82 career victories to tie former New York Yankees great Mariano Rivera for the most wins by a Panamanian.
''For me, he's one of the best pitchers to ever pitch in the big leagues and to tie him for most wins by a Panamanian really means a lot to me, and my family is very happy,'' Chen said.
Adam Dunn went 2 for 4 with a solo homer for the White Sox, who had won three of four.
Chicago starter Scott Carroll (4-6) allowed five runs and 11 hits in five-plus innings.
''I thought I was just rusty; that's kind of the way I felt,'' Carroll said. ''Overall, I just didn't think I had my best stuff. But I have to be better, the sixth inning is what really got me. Up until that point I just felt rusty.''
The Royals had a players-only meeting before the game and needed a good start. Moustakas provided it when he led off the second with a long homer to right field to make it 1-0. The White Sox tied it when Dunn led off the fourth with a homer to left.
The Royals broke the game open with a four-run sixth inning thanks to some timely hits - another missing element during the losing streak - and White Sox miscues.
Billy Butler led off with a double and the next batter, Raul Ibanez, drove him in with a double to make it 2-1. Alcides Escobar followed with an infield hit to put runners on first and third, and Ibanez scored on a passed ball as Nori Aoki walked for a 3-1 lead.
That was all for Carroll as Javy Guerra entered.
Guerra, though, immediately dug a deeper hole with his defense. With runners on first and second, Jarrod Dyson bunted back to the vicinity of the mound. Guerra fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw to first base was wild and sailed by second baseman Gordon Beckham and down the right field line, allowing Escobar to score on the throwing error.
The Royals capped the scoring in the inning with a sacrifice fly by Omar Infante to make it 5-1.
''The tack-on runs were huge for us right there,'' Yost said.
Moustakas added a two-run homer in the eighth.
NOTES: Chicago manager Robin Ventura said he decided to give 1B Jose Abreu the night off after watching the major League home run leader move around looking a bit stiff during Monday's game. ''Going through the All-Star stuff and everything else, not having a break, you just see little things,'' Ventura said. Abreu is not injured and should play in the series finale on Wednesday. ... Royals 1B Eric Hosmer missed a second straight game with a bruised right hand. He was hit with a pitch from Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox on Sunday. ''He wanted to try (to play) today,'' Yost said, ''and I told him, `Let's just take it easy, get treatment on it all day (Wednesday) and see where we are.''' ... White Sox C Tyler Flowers' wife, Nancy, gave birth to a boy earlier Tuesday. Flowers wasn't at the ballpark for batting practice but arrived before game time. Backup Adrian Nieto started. ... Royals RHP James Shields (9-5) faces Jose Quintana (5-7) on Wednesday.