Royals edge past White Sox for sweep

Royals edge past White Sox for sweep

KANSAS CITY -- Omar Infante's slow infield squibber plated Alex Rios with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and right-hander Ryan Madson closed out the ninth as the Royals held off the White Sox, 5-4, on Sunday to sweep the three-game series.

With runners on second and third and one out, Infante hit a jam shot toward first baseman Jose Abreu, whose throw home was late to get Rios.

Madson filled in for Greg Holland, who had pitched the previous two nights, to record his second save of the season. Madson had 32 saves in 2011.

Madson seals the win

Danny Duffy started for the Royals but shaky command led manager Ned Yost to pull him after 3 1/3 innings with the score tied, 3-3. Kris Medlen entered and was phenomenal, allowing no hits and no runs through 3 2/3 innings. Medlen struck out three.

"It was just a day you say you didn't have it," Duffy said. "Ned managed a really good game and brought in Med and we won.

"I know what I can do. Today is just one of those days. I really have found my slot, but today I just wasn't able to execute. I couldn't put the ball where I wanted to."

Medlen picks off Eaton

White Sox starter Jose Quintana went 6 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits and four runs. He walked two and struck out four.

"With 'Q', it was tough getting out of that first inning," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "They knocked him around a little bit. We battled back and wound up tying it a couple of times. Their guys just ended up chipping away right there at the end."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Morales bomb: Kendrys Morales got the Royals going in the first by taking a Quintana fastball and driving it over the fence in right-center, an impressive 394-foot opposite-field homer. That put the Royals up 3-0 and gave Morales 80 RBIs, which lead the team. Morales got to the 80 RBI point in the team's 110th game -- the last time a Royal accomplished that was in 2000 (Jermaine Dye and Mike Sweeney).

Morales' two-run shot

Ben's stinger: With Jarrod Dyson on second and two outs in the fifth, Quintana got ahead of Zobrist 0-2. But then Quintana left a pitch over the inside edge and Ben Zobrist smacked it back up the middle and Dyson scored easily from second base. That put the Royals up 4-3.

Zobrist's go-ahead single

Beckham delivers: Gordon Beckham got a rare start at third base, and the move immediately paid dividends in the third inning as Beckham snapped a 3-for-41 slump with an RBI single off Duffy that triggered a three-run rally. Beckham entered the day hitting .073 over his previous 18 games.

Beckham's RBI single

Clutch hit: Melky Cabrera came through with a two-out RBI single off Kelvin Herrera to tie the game, 4-4, in the eighth inning. After a fine play by third baseman Mike Moustakas kept Adam Eaton at third with two outs, Cabrera went the other way and lashed his single past a diving shortstop Alcides Escobar.

"These guys are not laying down," Ventura said. "They continue to battle back. I thought there in the eighth we continued to grind away. It's a tough bullpen to come back against."

Melky's game-tying single

QUOTABLE
"One, two, three, four, and I would say 4 1/2," Yost said. "Because I think [Luke Hochevar] is right there with them, first year after Tommy John [surgery]. Next year, I would definitely say that his stuff is good enough to close. We feel like we have four guys that can close for any team in baseball." -- Yost, on his closing options

"They had a guy [Rios] who could run down the line. It was a tough play for Jose, but I thought he at least made a good effort." -- Ventura, on Abreu's attempt to cut down the go-ahead run on Infante's fielder's choice

WHAT'S NEXT
White Sox: Left-hander Chris Sale (9-7, 3.52 ERA) will attempt to get back on track as the White Sox open a home series against the Angels on Monday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Sale is only 1-3 with a 7.61 ERA over his last four starts.

Royals: Right-hander Johnny Cueto will make his Royals home debut in the series opener against the Tigers at 7:10 p.m. CT on Monday. Cueto (7-7, 2.69) has two quality starts in two tries with his new team.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.