After losing a 4-1 lead, the Kansas City Royals battled back to earn an 8-4 win over the Chicago Cubs to open their three-game series and end a season-long four-game losing streak.
The Royals tallied three eighth-inning runs with an RBI double from Lorenzo Cain and error from Dexter Fowler in center field. Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez all homered early in the game for Kansas City.
“We needed to have this win today,” said Royals manager Ned Yost. “We didn’t want to take it to five in a row.”
Kelvin Herrera (1-1) was credited with the win despite allowing Chicago to tie the game after starter Edinson Volquez departed with three runs allowed in 5 2/3 innings with nine strikeouts.
The Cubs got home runs from Jorge Soler and Addison Russell, but Pedro Strop (1-3) took the loss with three runs — one earned — charged to his line in just one-third of an inning. Starter Jake Arrieta allowed four runs on eight hits in seven innings.
After Kansas City went up 4-1 on Eric Hosmer’s RBI double in the sixth, Soler got the green light to swing at a 3-0 pitch and crushed a high Volquez fastball into the bleachers to cut the Cubs’ deficit to one run.
In the seventh, Kansas City nearly added to its lead with two outs, but Dexter Fowler’s sliding catch denied insurance runs. Russell then hit his fourth home run off Herrera to tie the game.
After Cain’s double in the eighth put the Royals back in front, they later had runners on the corners with two outs when Omar Infante lined a ball into center field. After failing to make the basket catch, Fowler slipped in pursuit of the ball which allowed both runs to score.
“They showed why they went to the World Series last year, and we showed we’re not ready yet,” said Cubs manager Joe Maddon.
Kansas City added another unearned run in the ninth, and Wade Davis and Greg Holland combined to strike out five of the last six Cubs hitters to deny another comeback.
The Royals went up 2-0 early in the game with a leadoff home run by Escobar and Gordon solo shot in the second. Kris Bryant’s double scored Russell and got the Cubs on the board in the third, but Perez homered in the fourth, and Hosmer’s RBI double scored Cain in the sixth.