Royals miss chance at 1st place, lose to White Sox

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CHICAGO (AP) — A share of the AL Central was up for grabs. The Kansas City Royals couldn't quite reach it.

The Royals squandered a chance to move into a tie for the division lead, losing to Jose Abreu and the Chicago White Sox, 5-4 on Saturday night.

"We definitely let one get away," Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "We had a lot of opportunities, guys on base to start innings. But we just didn't get it done."

The Detroit Tigers, who lost 12-3 at Minnesota on Saturday, remained one game ahead of the Royals entering the final day of the regular season. Kansas City clinched at least an AL wild card on Friday.

By virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Oakland Athletics, if the Royals are in the wild card game it will be played in Kansas City.

"We're going to be excited that we got home field advantage," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "But again, it's all going to come down to (Sunday). We'll see what happens. Minnesota is doing a great job playing Detroit."

Danny Duffy (9-12) lasted only two innings for the Royals. He allowed four runs, five hits and one walk. The White Sox jumped on him, scoring three runs in the first inning. Abreu capped the rally with his 36th home run.

"I didn't have any command," Duffy said. "I didn't have my best stuff is the best way to put it."

Abreu broke a 31-year-old franchise record for the most homers in a season by a rookie, previously held by Ron Kittle. They are the most by a rookie since St. Louis' Albert Pujols hit 37 in 2001.

White Sox catcher Josh Phegley homered in the second and seventh innings for his first career multihomer game.

John Danks (11-11) pitched seven solid innings to earn his first home win since June 17. He allowed two runs, five hits and two walks, and struck out three.

"Every time we face him, we really struggle offensively," Yost said of Danks. "He's got our number right now, that dirty rat."

The Royals mounted a rally in the eighth inning against Chicago's bullpen. After the first two batters reached, Lorenzo Cain singled home Alcides Escobar to cut the deficit to 5-3. But Hosmer hit into a double play, and Billy Butler grounded out to end the threat.

Kansas City threatened again in the ninth. Mike Moustakas singled in Alex Gordon with two outs, but the Royals fell one run short.

Javy Guerra escaped the jam for his first save of the season.

Salvador Perez hit a solo shot in the seventh inning for his 17th homer.

Paul Konerko, who will retire at season's end, was honored by the White Sox during a pregame ceremony. The White Sox unveiled a statue of Konerko, gave him several gifts, and displayed a series of video tributes from ex-teammates and players around the big leagues, including one from retiring New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.

"I have to apologize for the game," Konerko said. "To go out and try to play a game after that ... I'm pretty good about distractions, but that day, no way. I was a mess out there."

Konerko went 0-for-3 and exited in the seventh inning to a standing ovation. He then returned to the field for a curtain call.


White Sox: RHP Jake Petricka left in the ninth inning due to a stiff lower back. He was attempting to earn his 15th save of the season.

Royals: INF Christian Colon, who is recovering from a broken middle finger on his right hand, hasn't been activated from the disabled list. He was eligible to return on Sept. 22.


Royals RHP Yordano Ventura (14-10, 3.07) will face White Sox RHP Chris Bassitt (1-1, 3.65) on Sunday in the final game of the regular season.


Salvador Perez's home run was the 95th for the Royals this season. They are the only team in the majors under 100.

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