Kansas City has done it again.
The Kansas City Royals fought their way through 12 innings this evening, but once against proved to be a cardiac team early on in the young season as they defeated the Chicago White Sox 7-6. Chris Getz lead off the bottom of the 12th with a single, and advanced to second on a Mike Aviles sacrifice, before Melky Cabrera drove in Getz with an RBI single in another grind of a game. The win gives Kansas City four straight wins, which is longer than any winning streak during the entire 2010 season. Kansas City improves to 4-1, and now has three walk off victories, and in the other win, they came from behind in the bottom of the eighth to take the lead.
The Royals turned to Jeremy Jeffress with one out in the 12th as Kansas City's sixth pitcher of the evening to face the brunt of the Chicago lineup. This proved to be the first real pressure situation in a Royals uniform for Jeffress who benefited from some great defense as Kansas City caught Brent Lillibridge in a rundown trying to steal third where he was tagged by Aviles, originally called safe the play was reversed and provided a big boost to the Royals efforts. Alex Rios then grounded out to Alcides Escobar on a brilliant throw from shortstop to Kila Ka`aihue to get the out.
Facing a 6-4 deficit in the bottom of the eighth as Alex Gordon doubled with one out off reliever Chris Sale before Billy Butler hit a two-run home run to tie the game at 6. It was Butler's second home run on the young season while Gordon once again put together a productive night at the plate going 3-for-5 with 2 RBI, raising his average to .375 thus far.
It certainly didn't look promising at the onset of the game, as the first five White Sox hitters all reached base in the top of the first when Chicago posted four runs. It all culminated when designated-hitter Paul Konerko hit a three run shot to left near the Royals Hall of Fame building to make it 4-0 before there was an out.
Kansas City countered in the bottom of the first against White Sox starter Gavin Floyd as Cabrera singled, which lead to Alex Gordon hitting his first home run of the season, a fly ball to center field.
The Royals also added two more in the bottom of the second to knot it at four, as Escobar lead off with a single and then Matt Treanor walked. A double steal put both runners in scoring position, which lead to Cabrera driving them both in with a two out double.
To his credit Royals starter Luke Hochevar did settle down after the putrid start and held Chicago at bay until the sixth inning when they again plated two runners. Alexei Ramirez hit an RBI triple to score Carlos Quentin, before scoring on an error when Mike Aviles couldn't come up with the ball in time to get a throw off to beat Juan Pierre to first.
Hochever finished with six innings pitched, giving up six runs (five earned) on seven hits. Aaron Crow took over for the seventh and eighth innings and was once again excellent, tossing two innings giving up two hits to go with two strikeouts. Crow displayed solid movement with his pitches for the majority of the evening.
As the game stretched on, the Royals were the first team to put pressure on in the bottom of the tenth, as Gordon hit a two out double down the right field line, before Chicago chose to walk Butler to get to Ka`aihue who struck out against Sergio Stantos.
Jeffress is yet another Royals rookie to earn his first career win, while Tony Pena took the loss for Chicago who fell to 2-2. The teams get just a short break as tomorrow is a day game, with Mark Buehrle pitching for Chicago and Jeff Francis on the bump for Kansas City.