Kansas City, Mo. — Any sort of four-game winning streak is a big deal in a town where the local team hadn’t won more than three in a row since September 2009.
But Melky Cabrera’s RBI single in the 12th inning Tuesday night not only lifted Kansas City past the Chicago White Sox, 7-6, it gave the Royals their fourth straight victory in their final at-bat.
During a 4-1 start to the season, the up-and-coming Royals have wiped out a lead in the eighth inning at home, launched a pair of game-ending homers in the ninth and won on Cabrera’s single.
In the season opener against the Angels, the only game they’ve lost, Alex Gordon missed a walkoff homer in the ninth by inches.
“These first five games have been the funnest five games I ever played in my life,” said Billy Butler, whose two-run homer tied it 6-all in the eighth. “Hopefully we can get off to a good lead and just cruise to a victory.”
Cabrera’s single up the middle off Tony Pena (0-1) scored Chris Getz from second and gave K.C. its first back-to-back wins in extra innings since June 30-July 1, 2006. It also gave Cabrera three RBIs.
“As long as you win them, that’s all that counts,” manager Ned Yost said.
Jeremy Jeffress (1-0) got two outs for the win, capping another standout performance by a bullpen that contains three rookies. The relievers threw six shutout innings after the White Sox scored four in the first off Luke Hochevar and took a 6-4 lead in the sixth.
“There is nothing worse than getting four early and giving it right back,” White Sox starter Gavin Floyd said.
Chris Sale relieved Floyd to begin the eighth and gave up the tying homer to Butler.
The White Sox had a 4-0 lead after Hochevar’s 13th pitch. Juan Pierre got the game started with a triple into right-center and Gordon Beckham followed with a single.