Hosmer's blast in extra frames rescues 'pen

Hosmer's blast in extra frames rescues 'pen

CHICAGO -- Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer and manager Ned Yost both had the same feeling when Hosmer roped a liner toward the right-field wall in the 10th inning on Wednesday night -- a two-run homer that produced a 5-3 win at U.S. Cellular Field.

"Just be high enough to get over that fence," Yost thought to himself.

Added Hosmer, "Yeah, I didn't know. I knew I hit it well, but with the wind tonight kind of swirling, you didn't know."

Hosmer's two-run homer

But Hosmer's shot did clear the fence for his 18th homer this season, giving the Royals home-field for the American League Division Series. It also reduced their deficit for overall home-field in the postseason to one game behind the Blue Jays.

"It's a big win for us," Hosmer said. "We've had kind of a tough trip so far."

Hosmer's mission against White Sox closer David Robertson was get his swing launched early.

"He's got such good velocity with his fastball and cutter," Hosmer said, "I just kept thinking to get started early, get started early. That's pretty much all I focused on and, of course, hit it hard somewhere."

The Royals' offense had done little in the first two games of this trip, but Hosmer's homer was the team's third of the night. And it bailed out the bullpen, which uncharacteristically let a 3-1 lead evaporate late.

"It's not too often we have to pick up our bullpen," Hosmer said. "Tonight was just one of those rare nights when we had to. They're so good, you just don't need to. But all that matters is we won."

And with the win, the Royals secured home-field for at least one round in the postseason.

"That's always a good feeling," Hosmer said. "We still want home field throughout, but we'll start with that. We know we have an edge at home if we can get it."

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