Eric Hosmer’s two-out RBI double in the top of the 13th gave the Kansas City Royals a literal hard-fought win over the White Sox on Thursday night.
Hosmer’s liner into deep right field off reliever Jake Petricka allowed Jarrod Dyson to score from first base in a game marred by a massive brawl that resulted in five player ejections, including both starting pitchers. Wade Davis earned the save for the Royals, who prevailed 3-2 at U.S. Cellular Field as the White Sox finished 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Dyson entered the game in the seventh inning after Lorenzo Cain was ejected for participating in the brawl.
Kansas City’s Yordano Ventura and Edinson Volquez also were ejected as were Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija. Both Ventura and Sale each hit a batter earlier in the game.
Sale spotted the Royals a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Kendrys Morales singled in two runs. But the White Sox fought back against Ventura, who looked unhittable the first two innings. Ventura hit Jose Abreu to start the fourth inning and that led to a White Sox run as with two outs, Alexei Ramirez singled in Avisail Garcia, who reached on one of three fielder’s choices.
An inning later, the White Sox tied it when Abreu followed a two-out double by Melky Cabrera with one of his own.
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Two innings later, mounting tensions that began on Opening Day when Samardzija hit Cain after a Mike Moustakas homer, boiled over into a lengthy brawl. Ventura fielded Adam Eaton’s comebacker, took several steps off the mound, staring at the White Sox leadoff hitter the entire way before throwing to first for the out. Eaton then quickly turned to confront the pitcher and both benches and bullpens emptied.
The two teams then settled down and got into a bullpen battle.
Zach Duke, David Robertson, Zach Putnam and Dan Jennings all produced scoreless innings in relief of Sale, who allowed two earned runs and nine hits in seven innings. Kelvin Herrera and Jason Frasor each pitched a scoreless inning and Ryan Madson threw two. Franklin Morales pitched a scoreless inning as well in relief of Ventura, who struck out eight over seven.
Ventura allowed five hits and walked one.
Petricka, who made his 2015 debut on Wednesday, pitched a scoreless inning in the 12th. He retired the first batter in the 13th before Moustakas singled. Dyson reached on a fielder’s choice and drew five throws over by Petricka before Hosmer ripped a 2-2 changeup into right.