Stuck in the midst of a four game losing streak, and having lost seven of their last eight games, the Kansas City Royals needed someone to step up and lead the team to victory. Mike Moustakas was up to the challenge tonight, hitting two home runs as the Royals defeated the Chicago White Sox 7-1.
Taking the mound for the Royals was Bruce Chen, opposing Scott Carroll of the White Sox. If the Royals slumbering bats were to wake up, this seemed to be the game they would have the best chance to during the series.
Those bats certainly woke up. Moustakas kicked off the scoring in the second, leading off the inning with a home run that he hammered into the seats in right, giving the Royals a 1-0 lead. Despite putting several runners on base over the first three innings, including loading the bases with out out in the third, Moustakas’s home run was the only tally on the board. It seemed as though the familiar Royals script of squandering their chances was playing out once again.
That feeling became stronger in the bottom of the fourth. Adam Dunn led off the inning by hitting a home run to the opposite field, hitting the ball into the bullpen to tie the game at 1-1. It seemed to be a matter of time before the Royals would figure out a new, exciting way to lose yet another game.
However, they did not read that part of the script. Instead, the Royals put the game away in the top of the sixth, scoring four runs as they batted around. Raul Ibanez hit a double to deep right field to put the Royals on top, and scored on a passed ball. An error and a sacrifice fly gave the Royals two more runs, as they took a 5-1 lead.
After pitching five solid innings, Chen departed as the bullpen took over. In his five innings of work, Chen allowed only the one run on five hits and two walks, striking out two as he kept the White Sox hitters off balance with his mixture of breaking pitches.
Mike Moustakas added some insurance in top of the eighth, belting a two run home run to right for his second longball of the night. This marked the third time in Moustakas’s career that he hit two home runs in a game, and it came at a time when the Royals desperately needed someone to step up and deliver in their lineup.
Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland pitched the final four innings, preserving the 7-1 victory. Chen earned the win, which tied him with Mariano Rivera for the most victories for a pitcher from Panama.
Mike Moustakas was 3-5 with two home runs and three RBIs. Only Omar Infante did not have a hit on the night, as the Royals tattooed the White Sox pitching staff for 14 hits and seven walks.