Royals trounce John Danks, White Sox in 6-4 victory

The Kansas City Star

CHICAGO _ The confidence Ned Yost harbors about his Royals can be distilled to this: His greatest worry, he said hours before a 6-4 victory over the White Sox on Thursday, about Toronto securing home-field advantage in the American League is not the prospect of being forced to face the ferocious Blue Jays lineup in the compressed confines of Rogers Centre. It is not the misfortune of departing the team's beloved Kauffman Stadium.tmpplchld No, Yost insisted, riding the line between serious and kidding, his biggest worry is dealing with customs at the border.tmpplchld "Does 1/8home-field advantage3/8 help us? Yeah. Because we don't have to make two trips to Canada," Yost said on Thursday afternoon. "That's it. That's it. Getting into Canada, it's tough. And when you've got to do it two times, compared to one?"tmpplchld As the Royals (92-67) enter the final weekend of the regular season, the right to home-field advantage is the lone bauble left to chase. The Royals pulled into a tie with Toronto on Thursday. The Blue Jays won the season series between the two clubs and possess the tiebreaker, so Kansas City must finish one game ahead of their Canadian foes to win the prize.tmpplchld The Royals flew to Minneapolis late Thursday evening to finish the season. Kansas City may be forced to play without two of their biggest offensive generators. Lorenzo Cain sat out on Thursday with a bruised knee. Kendrys Morales left the game in the fifth inning because of tightness in his left quadriceps. Salvador Perez jammed his thumb earlier in the game and left because swelling in the eighth.tmpplchld All these injuries are considered minor. But the Royals still intend to use their regulars against the Twins, who are competing for a spot in the wild-card game.tmpplchld The group gashed John Danks on Thursday for six runs, the most the Royals have scored against Danks since July 20, 2008. Making his final bid for the postseason rotation, Kris Medlen turned in six innings of two-run ball. Luke Hochevar gave up two runs in the seventh.tmpplchld Kelvin Herrera defused a jam in the eighth with an incredible play. He uncorked a wild pitch with two outs and Alexei Ramirez at third base. Backup catcher Drew Butera retrieved the ball and fed Herrera, who nabbed Ramirez with a no-look, between-the-legs tag.tmpplchld In his previous three outings, Medlen failed to command his pitches. They sprayed in the upper region of the strike zone, dangerous territory for any pitcher. The Indians punished him for six runs in fewer than four innings on Sept. 26. The outing put Medlen's position in the playoff rotation in jeopardy.tmpplchld Heading into the final weeks of the season, Medlen out-performed confounding southpaw Danny Duffy, who was sent to the bullpen in mid-September to audition as a reliever. Duffy earned a spot as the team's best option for the sixth inning. And Medlen appeared set for a start.tmpplchld Now the picture is less clear. Called into action last Sunday, a day after Medlen's pounding, Chris Young turned in five no-hit innings against the Indians. Young will get another chance on Friday. Medlen had his on Thursday.tmpplchld The offense spotted him a four-run lead heading into the bottom of the third. Kansas City faced John Danks, the middling southpaw who has thwarted them for so many years. At last, the hitters disabled his weapons on Thursday. The Royals dented his armor in the first inning when Mike Moustakas roped a ground-rule, RBI double.tmpplchld Two innings later, Eric Hosmer bounced a triple past first baseman Jose Abreu and into the right-field corner. Moustakas followed up with a run-scoring single soon after. Another single by Jonny Gomes scored two more runs and snapped an 0-for-16 streak for Gomes.tmpplchld In the bottom of the frame, the defense did not provide much for Medlen. Gomes allowed a bloop single by Abreu to drop at his feed. Second baseman Ben Zobrist backpedaled into the outfield to track a pop-up by rookie Trayce Thompson, but misjudged the ball and let it fall for a single. When Alcides Escobar allowed a grounder to roll between his legs, the White Sox had cut Kansas City's lead to two.tmpplchld Morales opened the fifth inning with his third walk of the day. Salvador Perez shuttled him to third with a double. When Morales arrived at the bag, he called for trainer Nick Kenney. The duo soon departed the field.tmpplchld Alex Gordon soon singled in a run. Gomes provided a sacrifice fly. Medlen cruised. The Royals won their first series since the first week of September. And they headed for Minneapolis with a chance to reclaim home-field advantage for Kauffman Stadium.tmpplchld ___tmpplchld (c)2015 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)tmpplchld Visit The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) at www.kansascity.comtmpplchld Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.tmpplchld

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