Eric Hosmer homered and drove in two runs, Lorenzo Cain had four hits and scored twice, and the Kansas City Royals put themselves on the verge of a playoff spot with a 6-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.
One more win for Kansas City, or a loss by Seattle, will send the Royals to the postseason for the first time since George Brett led them to a championship in 1985.
Kansas City remained two games behind Detroit in the AL Central and moved one up on Oakland in the wild card standings.
Hosmer had three hits, including an RBI single in the first and a solo homer off Jose Quintana that tied it at 3 in the sixth.
Cain scored the go-ahead run in the eighth when second baseman Marcus Semien bounced the throw trying to turn a double play, and Alex Gordon added an RBI single.
The Royals went ahead after back-to-back singles by Cain and Hosmer put runners on first and third.
Jake Petricka relieved Quintana, and it looked as if the White Sox would get out of it when Billy Butler sent a grounder to short.
Semien, however, bounced the throw to first. That allowed Cain to score the go-ahead run, and Gordon followed with a single to drive in pinch runner Terrance Gore, making it 5-3.
That made a winner of Kelvin Herrera (4-3), who worked a scoreless seventh after James Shields went six innings.
Wade Davis pitched the eighth and Greg Holland worked the ninth for his 45th save in 47 chances.
Shields allowed three runs and five hits for Kansas City.
Quintana (9-11) gave up five runs and 11 hits over 7 1-3 innings for Chicago.
The White Sox held retiring captain Paul Konerko out of the lineup, but he expects to start the final three games. He has been playing through a broken bone in his left hand and was “a little sore” after playing two of the previous three in Detroit.
Royals: IF Christian Colon (broken middle finger) played six innings and had two hits in his first rehab game in the Arizona Instructional League, general manager Dayton Moore said. Moore had no comment when asked how Colon’s finger felt, and it’s not clear if he will be on the postseason roster.
White Sox: White Sox OF Avisail Garcia left the game because of a stiff lower back. He lined out in the second inning and was replaced in right field by Moises Sierra before the top of the third. The White Sox said he is day to day.
The Royals send RHP Jeremy Guthrie (12-11, 4.28 ERA) to the mound, hoping to wrap up a playoff berth. RHP Hector Noesi (8-10, 4.39) pitches for Chicago.