KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) When Chicago White ace Chris Sale left with a two-run lead after seven innings, Kansas City first baseman Eric Hosmer had a message in the Royals dugout.
''This is when the magic happens,'' Hosmer yelled to his teammates.
It did. Again.
Cuthbert drove in the go-ahead run with an infield hit in a three-run eighth, and the Royals rallied for the third straight game in a 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
Chicago wasted a 4-2 lead in the eighth after failing to protect a 5-2 seventh-inning advantage on Friday and a 7-1 ninth-inning margin on Saturday. It is the first time the Royals have won three straight games when trailing by two runs or more entering the seventh inning.
White Sox relievers allowed 14 runs, 15 hits and eight walks over 6 1/3 innings in the three-game series, and Chicago has lost 14 of its last 18 games after a 23-10 start.
''If that's our worries right now, is our bullpen, I think we're in a great spot,'' Sale said. ''They've got a good offense. It's going to happen. You can't expect everybody to be perfect every time. I like our chances of those guys getting it together, no doubt.
Kansas City has won 12 of 17 to move into the AL Central lead.
Sale was on track to become the major leagues' first 10-game winner. Lorenzo Cain homered with one out in the eighth off Nate Jones (2-1), Hosmer doubled, and Kansas City loaded the bases with Kendrys Morales' walk and Paulo Orlando's single.
''I just feel bad for Sale,'' Jones said. ''He worked his tail off for seven innings and the offense did their job. Today was definitely my fault.''
Jones walked Brett Eibner on a low, outside pitch, forcing in the tying run. Matt Albers relieved and Cuthbert hit a grounder that second baseman Brett Lawrie snagged with a dive as pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson came home from third. Lawrie's throw from his back went about 10 feet, and first baseman Jose Abreu picked up the ball and threw out Orlando at the plate.
''It's got to be in the back of their minds: Here they come,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said of Cain's homer.
Chris Young (2-5), activated from the disabled list Saturday, pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, and Wade Davis threw a perfect ninth for his 14th save in 15 chances.
Hosmer had three hits and went 8 for 13 with seven RBIs in the series
Sale fell behind in the first when Cain hit an RBI double and scored on Hosmer's single. Sale allowed six hits and struck out six.
Kansas City's Edinson Volquez gave up three runs and six hits in six innings.
Orlando made a diving catch in right to rob Austin Jackson on an extra-base hit in the seventh, holding the White Sox to a sacrifice fly.
Whit Merrifield has hit in all eight Royals games he has started.
Royals: C Salvador Perez is expected to be out seven to 10 days with a bruised left thigh, the result of a collision with Cuthbert while catching a foul pop up Saturday. A MRI detected no structural damage. . Morales played for the first time since Tuesday after missing three games with a swollen right middle finger knuckle.
White Sox: Jackson left in the eighth inning with left foot toe turf.
White Sox: LHP Jose Quintana (5-4) is to start Monday's series opener at the New York Mets, who will start Matt Harvey.
Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy (4-3) will start Monday against Tampa Bay and Matt Andriese.