KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Unaccustomed to hitting home runs, Ruben Gotay was not sure if the ball was gone or not.
Then the rookie second baseman watched it sail over the fence for his first major league home run—just part of his four-RBI night Saturday in Kansas City’s 10-2 rout of the Chicago White Sox.
Gotay, one of several rookies auditioning for roster spots next spring, also tripled to help the Royals snap a seven-game losing streak.
Gotay tripled home two runs in a six-run second inning off Jason Grilli (2-3) as the Royals took a 6-1 lead. Facing Arnie Munoz in the fifth, he hit a 3-1 pitch over the fence in left for a two-run shot.
“At first I saw the ball slowing down. Then I thought, `OK, I got it,”’ said Gotay, who got a chance to play every day when Tony Graffanino was injured in August.
He knows every base hit in these final games brings him closer to an opportunity next spring.
“This means a lot to finish on a winning note,” Gotay said. “We young guys want to show them we can play. We want them to know we can be on top for next year.”
Brian Anderson (6-12) pitched his second complete game of the year, giving up seven hits and two runs, with one walk and four strikeouts.
“My sinker was pretty good and I was confident I could throw it at any time in the count and get ground balls,” Anderson said. “And I had a pretty good changeup, too.”
Anderson recovered nicely after giving up a home run to Aaron Rowand to start the game.
Grilli, another rookie trying to earn a closer look next spring, went just 3 2-3 innings and gave up six runs on six hits, with five walks and only two strikeouts.
“I hope that’s not the impression they get, from this last start,” Grilli said. “Everything else has been fairly positive. But am I happy with myself? No.”
Jose Valentin hit his 30th homer leading off the fifth. The White Sox, who have won six of their last eight against the Royals, have hit 38 home runs against them this year in 18 games.
Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen sounded as though Grilli’s stock had not fallen far.
“It’s not the way you want him to go out. But it’s the first time this season he’s pitched poorly,” Guillen said. “He’s still going to compete for a job in the rotation next spring. I think he deserves it. He earned it.”
Following Gotay’s two-run triple, Joe Randa made it 6-1 with an RBI single.
“When you’re throwing to big league hitters and you’re walking them or falling behind in the count, that’s what is going to happen,” Guillen said.
Berroa homered with one out in the fifth off Scott Schoeneweis.
DeJesus, who had three hits, singled ahead of Gotay’s homer. The Royals added a run in the seventh on DeJesus’ RBI single.
Chicago’s Ross Gload was chosen AL rookie of the month for September after hitting .403. He singled in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. … RF Abraham Nunez made a spectacular running catch of Joe Borchard’s fly ball into the alley in the second inning. … It was the first time in eight games the Royals scored more than two runs.