In a rebuilding year packing an untested offense, it would have been bold to imagine a Chicago White Sox player setting a visiting team record for home runs at Kauffman Stadium in a season.
Even with the curious notion of seven scheduled games for the White Sox in Kansas City this month, it would have been nigh impossible to imagine that such a hard-to-attain record would fall in April alone.
Tonight, with his seventh homer at Kauffman Stadium this season, Matt Davidson did indeed set that record.
In April. In four games.
Davidson’s two homers tonight paced a 7-4 White Sox win, in extras. The record-setting blast was a two-run shot to right field in the 11th that provided the game-winning RBI.
The bonus frames heading into tomorrow’s doubleheader weren’t ideal, and hang the extra effort on a two-out throwing error by Tim Anderson, which let in the tying run in the seventh. Lopez giving up two hits to start the frame, Aaron Bummer throwing a wild pitch to get K.C to within 4-3, and Nate Jones blowing the save all shouldered responsibility, but TA offset a nice 2-for-5 night as the leadoff man and a couple of nifty defensive plays with his sixth error of the season.
The White Sox, who now have more wins in Kansas City this season (four) than they do everywhere else combined, including their own home park in Chicago (three), benefited from solid performances beyond Davidson.
Reynaldo López was denied his first win by K.C.’s rally to tie, but recovered from a tough start to pitch into the seventh. The ascendant fireballer threw 61 pitches in just the first three innings, but regained his composure by using just 31 tosses to get through the next 3 1⁄3 .
The other heroes resided at the bottom of the order. Leury García went 3-for-5 with a triple and two RBI in the No. 8 spot, while No. 9 Adam Engel contributed a safety squeeze bunt and triple for a 1-for-3, 2 RBI night.
But the game ended up being all about Davidson, who, remarkably, still has three games in April alone to extend his Kauffman record. In four games in K.C. so far this season, Davidson is 8-for-15, with seven homers and 12 RBI.
Last night, when Year of the Hamster suggested even odds on Davidson leaving K.C. on Sunday with more dingers than the entire Royals team, the smart call would have been to go with Kansas City. But with three games left to play, Davidson has crept to within one, at 8-7.
“It’s kinda ridiculous,” Davidson said postgame, while trying to remember exactly how mny home runs he’d hit in Kauffman already this season. “I don’t know what’s going on, and no one else does, either. It’s the thing you dream of, but it’s kinda excessive ... you don’t think it’s going to happen. I’m gonna keep on riding the wave and enjoy it — this is pretty cool.”