Batting third, Hosmer strikes twice off Sale

Batting third, Hosmer strikes twice off Sale

CHICAGO -- Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, who hit two home runs off White Sox lefty Chris Sale in a 7-5 loss Friday night, insists there's absolutely no secret or key to hitting Sale.

"That guy, he's just nasty," Hosmer said. "Just flat-out nasty. You just try to be early, try to look for something out over the plate and let him do all the work."

That worked for Hosmer, as he delivered the fourth two-homer game of his career and his first since June 24, 2013, against Baltimore at Kauffman Stadium.

Hosmer smoked an opposite-field line drive into the bullpen in the first inning off Sale, the first homer by a left-handed hitter off the White Sox southpaw since Sept. 2, 2012 (Brennan Boesch of the Tigers).

Hosmer's solo shot

In the fourth, Hosmer led off and again rifled one into the left-field seats.

"I'm just looking to be early," Hosmer said. "I see something out and over ... just let my hands work."

But despite the homers, Hosmer and the Royals fell for the eighth straight time on this road trip.

Hosmer isn't sure what the answer is.

"It just didn't happen tonight," Hosmer said. "Ian [Kennedy] has been throwing the ball well for us. They put some good swings on him, they put themselves into good counts and took advantage of some big situations."

On the bright side, the Royals did awaken from their offensive slumber. They had scored four runs in their previous six games.

But Royals manager Ned Yost tinkered with the lineup, moving Whit Merrifield into the leadoff spot, and moving Hosmer to No. 3 with Lorenzo Cain hitting cleanup.

The moves got a thumbs up from Hosmer.

"If we take any positives from tonight and this stretch, the offense definitely looked a lot better today," he said. "Just a different lineup definitely mixed things up."

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.