NEW YORK — Maybe Eric Hosmer is the golden child.
Because start with this: Wednesday's 4-3 victory over the New York Yankees in 11 innings is a game the Royals of recent years (and years and years) simply don't win. They don't.
They managed a mere four hits. They saw the Yankees put runners in scoring position all evening and, generally, fail to capitalize. They saw their All-Star closer, Joakim Soria, blow the lead in the 10th inning.
And, somehow, it all turned out well.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Hosmer delivered the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the 11th inning. It wasn't hit deep — just deep enough for Chris Getz to score from third. Earlier, Hosmer hit his first career homer — and it was a no-doubt boomer into the second deck in right field.
It was also the Royals' only hit until Wilson Betemit's game-tying RBI single in the eighth inning.
Of course, after Hosmer's sac fly, the Royals still needed rookie Louis Coleman to do what Soria failed to do: Turn a one-run lead into a victory. Coleman responded with a one-two-three inning for his first career save.
Coleman's outing capped a series of shutdown performances by the Royals' rookie relievers. Coleman, Nate Adcock, Tim Collins and Aaron Crow combined for six shutout innings.
Soria (3-0) got the victory — and the Royals won for just the 15th time in 70 games in the South Bronx since the start of the 1995 season.
Getz started the 11th inning by drawing a four-pitch walk from Buddy Carlyle, who surrendered the go-ahead run an inning earlier. The Yankees replaced Carlyle (0-1) with Luis Ayala.
Alcides Escobar moved Getz to second with a sacrifice, and Jarrod Dyson followed with an infield single off the glove of second baseman Eduardo Nunez. Getz moved to third.
Dyson stole second on Ayala's first pitch to Melky Cabrera, which prompted an intentional walk to load the bases.
Hosmer fell into an 0-2 hole before lofting a fly to center that proved deep enough to score Getz with the go-ahead run. Cabrera stole second on Ayala's first pitch to Mitch Maier, but the Royals left two runners in scoring position when Maier struck out.
Coleman made the one run stand up.
Soria inherited a 3-2 lead to start the New York 10th but put himself in immediate trouble by walking Russell Martin on four pitches.
Martin moved to second on a sacrifice by Brett Gardner and to third on Derek Jeter's slow grounder to short before Curtis Granderson tied the game with an RBI single to right.
It was Soria's second blown save in eight opportunities, although he sent the game to the 11th inning by retiring Mark Teixeira on a fly to left.
That came after Cabrera opened the 10th inning against Carlyle by working back from a 1-2 hole to draw a walk. Hosmer reached on a fielder's-choice grounder to short, that erased Cabrera, before taking second on a wild pitch.
Maier struck out on a check swing before Jeff Francoeur drilled a 2-2 fastball into the right-center gap for an RBI double and a 3-2 lead.
Royals starter Vin Mazzaro, recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Omaha, lasted just four innings as a replacement for injured Bruce Chen. Four innings in which he threw 94 pitches while allowing six hits and four walks.
Somehow, Mazzaro limited the damage to just two runs.
Yankees starter A.J. Burnett permitted just the one hit — Hosmer's homer — in seven innings. He walked five but struck out six before handing a one-run lead to David Robertson to start the eighth.
And Robertson started the eighth by walking Cabrera on a full count, striking out Hosmer on three pitches and walking Billy Butler on four pitches. Maier replaced Butler as a pinch-runner.
Robertson then struck out Francoeur on three pitches before, finally, the Royals got their second hit of the game: Wilson Betemit pumped a game-tying RBI single into right.
The Royals pushed Crow to a third inning for the first time by bringing him back for the ninth. His 32 pitches entering the inning were already a season high.
Teixeira whacked the inning's first pitch through the right side for a leadoff single, but Crow struck out Alex Rodriguez and induced a possible double-play grounder to short from Nunez... except Getz dropped the exchange. The Royals settled for one out, the force at second, and the inning continued. Nunez stole second on Crow's second pitch to Nick Swisher when catcher Matt Treanor dropped the ball.
That prompted an intentional walk to Swisher to get to Jorge Posada, who ran the count full before striking out on check swing on Crow's 51st pitch.