CHICAGO— Eric Hosmer smashed a two-run homer in the 10th inning off White Sox closer David Robertson and the Royals clinched the No. 2 seed and home-field advantage in the American League Division Series with a 5-3 win on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
“I didn’t even think about that [home-field advantage in the first round] until [general manager] Dayton [Moore] came in and said something,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Our focus has been home-field throughout, but yeah, you got to get this first so that’s good.”
The Royals also pulled within one game of the Blue Jays for the best record in the AL and home-field advantage throughout the postseason. The Blue Jays, however, hold the tiebreaker having won the season series, 4-3.
Hosmer was one of three Royals to homer along with Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas, who hit a go-ahead two-run shot in the sixth.
“Felt like I threw the ball really well, made one mistake, and Hosmer made me pay for it,” Robertson said. “It’s tough. He’s a good hitter, they have a good lineup, and I can’t be making mistakes like that out there or we’re not going to be winning many games.”
Royals starter Edinson Volquez went six innings, laboring through 117 pitches, but he held the White Sox to one run and nine hits. He walked one and struck out five. White Sox starter Jose Quintana pitched nine innings and gave up three runs and five hits, while walking two and striking out eight. It was the 52nd no-decision in Quintana’s four-year career.
“He was great, outstanding, you can use all of them,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of his lefty. “We thought we had a chance there to get him one. Again, just his consistency is always the impressive part and you feel bad because this guy pitched great. He always goes out there and gives you a chance.”
Trailing 3-2, the White Sox tied it in the eighth off Kelvin Herrera when with two out, Mike Olt reached on an infield single that third baseman Moustakas couldn’t corral. Tyler Saladino stole second and went to third on an error. Then Tyler Flowers, who had four hits, ripped a liner to right that right fielder Paulo Orlando misjudged and the ball flew over his head for a ground-rule double, tying the score at 3.
“That’s a tough play for Paulo,” Yost said. “The wind is really blowing there and it’s just a tough read.”
Added Orlando, “It just kept blowing it away from me. I tried.”