CHICAGO (AP) — Eric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales homered and Johnny Cueto threw six quality innings, but the Kansas City Royals lost to the Chicago White Sox 4-2 on Tuesday night.
The Royals, who have lost four of their last five, fell behind 3-0 after Adam Eaton drove a two-run homer into the bullpen in right field off Cueto (10-13) in the fifth inning.
Cueto lost for the third time in his four September outings and gave up three runs and eight hits over six innings. He struck out two and walked two.
Kansas City got within 3-2 in the sixth when Hosmer and Morales hit back-to-back homers off Chicago starter Jeff Samardzija (11-13), who won for the second straight time after losing nine of his 10 previous outings.
The runs were the first the Royals had scored in 17 innings during a three-game stretch. They were shut out 1-0 in 11 innings by the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.
Coming off a complete-game one-hitter against Detroit on Sept. 21, Samardzija scattered eight hits over seven innings to pick up the win, striking out two. The consecutive homers snapped Samardzija's string of 14 scoreless innings.
The White Sox added a run in the eighth on Alexei Ramirez's RBI double. David Robertson pitched the ninth inning for Chicago to earn his 33rd save in 40 opportunities.
The two solo shots were the only offense the Royals could muster. White Sox left fielder Trayce Thompson saved a potential game-tying run in the seventh inning with a diving catch that robbed Ben Zobrist of an extra-base hit that likely would have scored Alcides Escobar, who had reached on a two-out single.
The Royals put a runner in scoring position in the eighth, but Chicago third baseman Michael Olt snagged a line drive by Mike Moustakes that appeared headed for left field.
Holland to have elbow surgery
Greg Holland, the two-time All-Star former closer for Kansas City, will undergo Tommy John elbow surgery on Friday in Los Angeles. Neal ElAttrache, the orthopedic surgeon whom Holland visited earlier this week for a second opinion on his torn ulnar collateral ligament, will perform the procedure.
The Royals believe Holland suffered the injury in early September 2014, when the training staff initially diagnosed him with likely ligament damage. Holland chose to pitch instead of surgery, and posted a 0.82 ERA for the Royals in their first playoff appearance since 1985.
During the offseason, the Royals hoped Holland could recover enough from time off to perform capably again in 2015. But his fastball velocity dropped into the low 90s, he lost command of his slider and his ERA bloated to 3.83. Holland still managed to save 32 games, enough to keep himself in the closer's role until earlier this month.
After a road trip to Tampa Bay in late August, Holland underwent his first MRI on the elbow. The examination revealed a torn ligament. Holland insisted to Royals officials he felt healthy enough to compete and collect outs. The Royals gave him another chance.
When Holland returned to action, his fastball hovered in the upper 80s. He blew a save in Detroit on Sept. 18. Yost removed Holland from the closer's role and inserted Wade Davis into that spot. Holland was informed he no longer had a set responsibility in the team's bullpen hierarchy, at which point he opted for surgery.
The procedure usually requires a rehabilitation period that lasts 12 to 14 months.