An error gifts Royals walk-off win against White Sox

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September 11, 2018 - 10:38 AM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The previous time he left the mound at Kauffman Stadium, Royals starting pitcher Jakob Junis held his arms in the air, acknowledgment of the first nine-inning complete game of his career.
The encore Monday fell one inning shy — Junis took care of only the initial eight innings.
An error took care of the 10th.
The Royals walked off the Chicago White Sox 4-3 in 10 innings after pitcher Jeanmar Gomez threw the ball into left field, allowing Brian Goodwin to score the game-winning run.
The Royals (48-95) have won six home games in a row.
Brian Goodwin doubled to lead off the bottom of the 10th. Alcides Escobar attempted to bunt him to third base. When Gomez fielded the bunt, he sailed a throw over third base. Goodwin could jog home.
Jake Newberry was credited with the win on the mound after throwing a scoreless 10th, but it was Junis who starred on that spot. Junis completed eight innings but departed with a no-decision. He retired 16 of the last 17 hitters he faced after giving up six hits in the initial three innings.
The White Sox stung Junis for three runs in the third inning, ignited with Adam Engel’s solo home run and prolonged with a two-run shot from Daniel Palka that squeezed inside the right-field foul pole. In four starts, Junis has allowed eight home runs to the White Sox this season.
But they couldn’t touch him afterward. Junis extended a streak of effectiveness that dates to Aug. 6. In his past seven starts, Junis has an ERA of 2.15.
Ryan O’Hearn had provided the game-tying home run in the sixth off White Sox starter Lucas Giolito, a ball that landed 430 feet from home plate after clearing the center-field fence. O’Hearn has 10 homers this year. He hit 11 in Class AAA Omaha in nearly four times as many plate appearances.
The scouting report suggests patience against Giolito. He has walked more hitters than anyone in the American League, but the velocity of the contact has been minimal.
Whit Merrifield voiced a dismissal of that notion. Merrifield ambushed the first pitch of the game 406 feet to left-center, his third leadoff home in 2018 and the sixth of his career. Merrifield has 12 home runs this season after mustering only five in the first four months of the year.
Giolito threw seven innings — for the fifth time in 29 starts — allowing three runs on six hits. He walked two, an improvement from his usual command problems. He has issued a league-high 81 walks this year.
The two starters settled in late after the offenses missed opportunities to do more damage early. The White Sox placed men on first and third with one out in the first inning but did not score. The Royals returned the favor in the bottom of the first, leaving Alex Gordon stranded at third after he stole the base with one out. Gordon has stolen 10-plus bases in a season six times.
The Royals have shuffled their rotation for the final two games of the three-game set with the White Sox. They will roll with Brad Keller on Tuesday and give Eric Skoglund his first start since May when he toes the rubber Wednesday.

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