Chicago, IL – Lorenzo Cain's second home run of the game provided the difference against the White Sox, as his two-run blast in the ninth inning gave the Kansas City Royals a 7-5 victory in the opener of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
Cain hit a solo homer in the fifth, then took Addison Reed deep in the half- inning after Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera (2-2) stranded the bases loaded to keep it a 5-5 game.
The win was the sixth straight by Kansas City over the White Sox, who lead the Tigers by a half-game in the AL Central race. Detroit is playing the Angels in Anaheim later Friday.
Salvador Perez had a two-run homer for the Royals, who had lost five of seven coming in.
Alexei Ramirez, A.J. Pierzynski and DeWayne Wise each homered in the loss, Chicago's eighth in its last 11 games.
The hosts squandered a prime scoring opportunity in the eighth when Herrera came in from the bullpen and retired Ramirez on a sacrifice bunt, Gordon Beckham on a strikeout and Jose Lopez on a pop up to third to leave the bags full.
Johnny Giavotella began the ninth with a single off Reed (3-2), and Cain followed by sending a 1-1 slider deep into the seats in left-center for his seventh home run of the year.
In the bottom half, Greg Holland worked around a one-out single to secure the win and post his 12th save of the season.
Both starters allowed five runs and did not make it out of the sixth. Kansas City's Luis Mendoza was pulled after allowing 10 hits in 5 1/3 frames, while Francisco Liriano gave up six hits and four walks over five-plus innings.
Perez hit a two-run homer off Liriano in the second inning, while Cain took the left-hander deep for a solo shot in the fifth.
Paul Konerko's RBI single in the first frame, coupled with solo blasts by Pierzynski and Wise in the fourth and fifth inning, respectively, resulted in a 3-3 tie heading to the sixth.
The White Sox pulled an ineffective Liriano after he walked the first two in the sixth. Jeff Francoeur greeted Nate Jones with an RBI double, and Eric Hosmer plated Mike Moustakas with a sacrifice fly for a 5-3 lead.
The runs were quickly answered, as Dayan Viciedo led off with a single and trotted home when Ramirez crushed his ninth home run of the season into the bullpen beyond the left-field wall.
This was Cain's first career multi-home run game ... Chicago had won nine of its previous 10 home games ... The White Sox have not won consecutive games since a six-game run from Aug. 20-26 ... The White Sox went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10.