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Royals offense breaks out in win over Phillies

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- The Kansas City Royals, who had managed five runs while losing two of three games in a season-opening series to the Chicago White Sox, broke out Friday, pounding out 19 hits in a 13-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Eric Hosmer had four hits and Alex Gordon and Chris Getz blasted three-run triples for the Royals (2-2), who erased an early 4-0 deficit to win their second straight game.

"You knew it was a matter of time before we broke out and did some damage with the bats," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Luckily for us, it was today."

Hosmer went 4-for-5 with three RBIs. Gordon's sixth-inning triple allowed Kansas City, which trailed 4-0 after three innings, to take the lead for good at 5-4. Getz's hit one inning later came as part of a four-run frame, giving the Royals a 9-4 advantage.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it is the first time a major league team has had two bases-clearing triples in the same game since the Los Angeles Dodgers did it on April 30, 2008, at Florida. It is the first time the Royals have accomplished such a feat in their history.

Gordon, Getz and Mike Moustakas had three hits apiece and Alcides Escobar contributed a leadoff homer in the eighth for Kansas City.

"Everyone did something," Escobar said. "That's nice."

The Royals' explosion made a winner of veteran reliever Bruce Chen (1-0), who pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning.

The Kansas City bullpen worked five hitless, scoreless innings, while Philadelphia's relievers surrendered eight runs on 11 hits in 3 1/3 innings.

"They put us in a hole early, but the offense stepped up," Hosmer said. "Gordon got the big hit, and the offense took a load off our shoulders after that."

Domonic Brown and Erik Kratz both blasted solo homers for the Phillies (1-3), while Ryan Howard had a pair of RBI singles.

With Kansas City trailing 4-2, Moustakas opened sixth with a single off Kyle Kendrick (0-1). Two outs later Getz doubled Moustakas to third. After Kendrick issued an intentional walk to pinch hitter Billy Butler, he was replaced on the mound by Jeremy Horst.

Gordon then lined a 1-1 fastball up the right-centerfield gap for his bases-clearing triple. Yost said it was "definitely the pivotal at-bat of the game," since the lefthanded-hitting Gordon was facing a lefty reliever.

"I felt good with Gordie up against the lefty," Yost said, "and he came through."

Horst also allowed a walk and two singles to start the seventh before he was relieved by Chad Durbin. Lorenzo Cain drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and after a walk to Jeff Francoeur, Getz lined a ball to left field that eluded a diving attempt by Brown and rolled all the way to the wall, allowing all three baserunners to score.

"Once he dove, the game was over," Phils manager Charlie Manuel said.

Escobar's eighth-inning homer came off Raul Valdes. Cain added an RBI single later in the inning, and Escobar and Hosmer drove in ninth-inning runs with back-to-back doubles.

"We're not worried at all," Kendrick said. "We let one get away from us today. I wouldn't say we're worried. It's early. We've got to play better. If we win 10 in a row, we won't talk about it anymore."

Consecutive one-out singles by Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Howard produced a first-inning run against Kansas City starter Wade Davis.

Brown, leading off the second, hit his first homer of the season, a wind-aided blast to right. One out later, Kratz lined his homer into the left-field seats.

Utley lined a double to left-center with one out in the third, then stole third. Howard chased him home with his second RBI single of the day, making it 4-0.

Hosmer's two-out, two-run single in the fifth cut the Kansas City deficit to 4-2.

NOTES: Howard, 1-for-12 in the Phillies' season-opening series in Atlanta, went 2-for-4. ... Utley also went 2-for-4. ... Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee worked eight scoreless innings Thursday en route to a 2-0 victory over Atlanta. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he made 11 starts without allowing a run in 2011, MLB's highest total since 1985 when Dwight Gooden and John Tudor did it 11 times. Lee had three such starts last season. ... Also according to Elias, Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who Thursday beat the White Sox, became the first Kansas City pitcher to go undefeated over 12 consecutive starts since Kevin Appier did so over 13 starts in 1994-95. ... Mike Schmidt and George Brett, Hall of Fame third basemen with the Phils and Royals, respectively, threw out the ceremonial first pitches.
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