Royals' rally in 10th earns home-field in ALDS

Royals' rally in 10th earns home-field in ALDS

CHICAGO -- Eric Hosmer smashed a two-run homer in the 10th inning off White Sox closer David Robertson and the Royals clinched the No. 2 seed and home-field advantage in the American League Division Series with a 5-3 win on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

"I didn't even think about that [home-field advantage in the first round] until [general manager] Dayton [Moore] came in and said something," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Our focus has been home-field throughout, but yeah, you got to get this first so that's good."

The Royals also pulled within one game of the Blue Jays for the best record in the AL and home-field advantage throughout the postseason. The Blue Jays, however, hold the tiebreaker having won the season series, 4-3.

Hosmer was one of three Royals to homer along with Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas, who hit a go-ahead two-run shot in the sixth.

"Felt like I threw the ball really well, made one mistake, and Hosmer made me pay for it," Robertson said. "It's tough. He's a good hitter, they have a good lineup, and I can't be making mistakes like that out there or we're not going to be winning many games."

Moustakas' two-run homer

Royals starter Edinson Volquez went six innings, laboring through 117 pitches, but he held the White Sox to one run and nine hits. He walked one and struck out five. White Sox starter Jose Quintana pitched nine innings and gave up three runs and five hits, while walking two and striking out eight. It was the 52nd no-decision in Quintana's four-year career.

"He was great, outstanding, you can use all of them," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of his lefty. "We thought we had a chance there to get him one. Again, just his consistency is always the impressive part and you feel bad because this guy pitched great. He always goes out there and gives you a chance."

Trailing 3-2, the White Sox tied it in the eighth off Kelvin Herrera when with two out, Mike Olt reached on an infield single that third baseman Moustakas couldn't corral. Tyler Saladino stole second and went to third on an error. Then Tyler Flowers, who had four hits, ripped a liner to right that right fielder Paulo Orlando misjudged and the ball flew over his head for a ground-rule double, tying the score at 3.

"That's a tough play for Paulo," Yost said. "The wind is really blowing there and it's just a tough read."

Added Orlando, "It just kept blowing it away from me. I tried."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gordon's blast: Gordon got the Royals' struggling offense going with a deep shot to center field off Quintana to lead off the third inning. That tied the score at 1. Gordon had been in a 5-for-42 slide, and it was his first extra-base hit since Sept. 15. Gordon was hitting eighth for the first time since 2010.

Gordon's solo homer

Stuck on base: The White Sox had a chance to strike early and often on Wednesday, but they fell short by scoring one run on six hits. Melky Cabrera, Trayce Thompson and Alexei Ramirez hit back-to-back-to-back singles in the first with two out, but Avisail Garcia flied out to center to leave the bases loaded. In the second, Olt, Flowers and Adam Eaton also hit back-to-back-to-back singles, but Eaton's RBI single was the only offense to show for. Chicago stranded 11 runners on base overall, including two in the eighth inning.

Moose blast: With the score tied at 1 in the sixth, Moustakas jumped on a hanging curve from Quintana and launched a two-run homer. That gave the Royals their first lead on the road trip. Moustakas' homer, a shot to right, was his 22nd, tying him with Kendrys Morales for the club lead.

Abreu goes long: In his second season in the Majors, Jose Abreu joined some special company with his blast to center field. The first baseman connected on his 30th home run of the season, joining Albert Pujols and Ryan Braun as the only players to hit at least 30 homers in each of their first two seasons. Abreu now has 99 RBIs, needing one more to join Pujols as the only player with 30 home runs and 100 RBIs in his first two years. More >

Abreu's solo homer

"We'll get him one more RBI," Ventura said. "He was pretty happy with his home run and he should be. He should be proud of that. Anytime you start saying there's only one other guy that's done something, it's impressive. For as long as people have been around doing this game, it's quite an accomplishment."

QUOTABLE
"It's important for me because I've never had it for the first time in a season. But my point is to try to get as many wins as you can for the team. Everything is about the team. I'll try to keep going. The season is done for me right now, but I'll try to focus on the next season. I'll rest right now and work hard for the next one." -- Quintana, on missing his 10th win in the season, marking all four years of his career without 10 or more wins.

Quintana goes nine strong

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Flowers matched a career-high four hits in a game with his ground-rule double in the eighth inning. It's the second time he's accomplished the feat, the other instance coming on April 3, 2014. The White Sox catcher also singled in the second, fourth and sixth innings, but knocked in his only run on the double.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Olt nearly committed his second error, but his quick recovery got Alex Rios at first base following a White Sox challenge. Rios hit a sharp grounder toward third base, where Olt bobbled the ball and recovered in time to throw to first. Umpire Chris Conroy ruled Rios safe, but the call was overturned.

Olt gets wild out at first

WHAT'S NEXT
Royals: Right-hander Kris Medlen (5-2, 4.30 ERA) will get the ball on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. CT for the rubber game of this three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field. Medlen staggered through his last outing against the Indians on Saturday, allowing six runs in 3 2/3 innings.

White Sox: Left-hander John Danks (7-14, 4.53) will start the finale against Kansas City on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Danks has owned the Royals throughout his career -- going 10-2 with a 2.57 ERA against the AL Central champions.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.