Eric Hosmer (MLB/photo)

Eric Hosmer (MLB/photo)

Eric Hosmer went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI and the Kansas City Royals picked up another crucial win with a 6-3 takedown of the Chicago White Sox from U.S. Cellular Field.

Hosmer has been one of the hottest bats in the league over the last week for the Royals, who moved a game ahead of the Athletics for the top spot in the American League wild card race. Hosmer is 13-for-29 over his last seven games.

“This was a big one for us,” Hosmer said. “The offense did a good job battling back.”

Lorenzo Cain went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a pair of runs scored to back a quality start by James Shields.

Shields gave up three runs on five hits in six innings and Kansas City’s bullpen did its job the rest of the way, with Kelvin Herrera (4-3), Wade Davis and Greg Holland each tossing a scoreless inning to secure the win.

Josh Phegley homered for the White Sox, who have lost three in a row. Jose Quintana (9-11) absorbed the loss, falling to 0-6 lifetime against the Royals after giving up five runs on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings.

“I think it’s the consistency,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Quintana. “He’s not going to light up a radar gun or things like that, but as far as being a tough pitcher to go against and know that you have your work cut out for you, he’s that guy. … We’re lucky to have him.”

Cain’s two-out double in the first inning led to the game’s first run, as Hosmer singled up the middle to drive him in.

Phegley’s fourth career home run and first of the season put the White Sox on top, 2-1, in the bottom of the second inning.

Jordan Danks made it 3-1 in the fourth with an RBI single. Moises Sierra led off the frame with a double and scored easily when Danks grounded sharply into right.

Kansas City chipped away and tied things up two innings later. Alcides Escobar, who matched a Royals franchise record with 159 starts at shortstop this season, singled in Salvador Perez in the fifth and Hosmer hit his solo home run in the sixth.

Cain and Hosmer singled in the eighth to chase Quintana from the contest. Jake Petricka came on and Billy Butler plated Cain with a grounder to shortstop. Terrance Gore pinch-ran for Butler, stole second and scored on Alex Gordon’s single to make it 5-3.

Cain’s RBI single in the ninth capped the scoring.