KANSAS CITY -- Everybody loves the long ball. But the hit that Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer loved the most barely blooped over the infield.
Hosmer's two-run single off White Sox reliever Zach Duke capped a four-run rally in the seventh inning and lifted the Royals to a 7-5 win on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium. Hosmer delivered four RBIs in the game.
Hosmer came up with runners on second and third and two out. He reached for a slider and served a soft single just over shortstop Jimmy Rollins' glove.
"I've faced Duke a couple of times," Hosmer said. "He's got really good offspeed stuff. I kept telling myself that's what he likes to do. I was just looking for something a little bit up and put it in play and make something happen.
"It wasn't really up, but finally we had a little luck go our way."
Hosmer said he wasn't sure at first glance if the ball would get past Rollins.
"Then, after a couple of steps, I knew it would," Hosmer said. "I thought at first it would be close, but then I could tell it was over his head. Just a big hit for us.
"But the bottom half of the lineup did a great job for us getting it going and setting us up."
Earlier, Hosmer belted an opposite-field homer to trim the White Sox lead to 5-2. That homer brought the crowd of 28,508 back into it, along with the Royals' bench. The White Sox had taken the lead with a five-run sixth.
"It's definitely big to kind of answer and start chipping away," Hosmer said. "We know if we can cut it close, especially here, some crazy stuff can happen. That [homer] definitely picked our spirits up."
Hosmer also is proud of the way the team's rookies -- Whit Merrifield, Cheslor Cuthbert and Brett Eibner -- have stepped up in the absence of Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon, who both went on the disabled list after colliding on a play last Sunday. Moustakas is out for the season; Gordon for 3-4 weeks.
"It's tough when you lose two big guys on one play," Hosmer said. "But everyone who was brought up has done their job. We've seen these guys for a lot of years and we know they can play."
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.