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.
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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 KC 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.Adam Dunn walked and Paul Konerko, who has at least one RBI in all four games the White Sox have played, hit an 0-1 pitch 437 feet over the fence in left."When you score four runs in the first inning you feel pretty good when Gavin Floyd is on the mound," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.Hochevar did not allow another run until Alexei Ramirez hit an RBI triple with one out in the sixth. With two out, Ramirez scored when third baseman Brent Morel failed to handle Pierre's infield grounder and was charged with an error.Alex Gordon's two-run home run in the bottom of the first cut the lead in half.Floyd gave up a single to Alcides Escobar and walked Matt Treanor to start the second inning. Both moved up on a double steal and scored on Cabrera's two-out single, knotting it 4-4.Gordon, who had four hits and scored four runs in Sunday's 13-inning victory over the Angels, was 3 for 5 with two doubles and two RBIs.Floyd went seven innings and allowed four runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out five.Hochevar went six innings and gave up six runs and seven hits, with two walks and one strikeout. One run was unearned.
Mike Aviles lined into a 6-3 double play ending the seventh, with Ramirez' throw cutting down Getz at first. ... The Royals' longest winning streak last year was three games, on six occasions. ... The White Sox have won the season series against the Royals nine of the last 10 years.
12,641 (33.4% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
70 degrees, clear
Home Plate - Brian Knight, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Hunter Wendelstedt
From Elias: The Royals are 3rd team in the last 20 seasons to have their first 4 wins come in their last at-bat. The others are: the 2010 Reds (first 6 wins, tied modern MLB record) and 2003 Reds (first 4 wins). The last AL team with their first 4 wins coming in their last at-bat was the 1989 Royals.