Sunday, August 5, 2012
Kansas City Royals 7, Texas Rangers 6 (10 innings)
Costly errors prevent Rangers from completing the rare road sweep.
The Texas Rangers fell victim to their own fielding mistakes Sunday in Kansas City, losing 7-6 to the Royals in extra innings. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak and dropped Texas to 63-44, still five and a half games ahead of the Oakland A's for first place in the AL West. Kansas City improved to 45-62.
With the score tied at 6-6 heading into the bottom of the tenth, Billy Butler led off the inning with a walk and was replaced by pinchrunner Eric Hosmer. Hosmer advanced to second when Rangers backup shortstop Alberto Gonzalez misplayed a routine grounder, and scored when former Ranger Jeff Francoeur's grounder to third was overthrown by rookie phenom Mike Olt. Michael Kirkman was unfortunately credited with the loss, while Royals reliever Greg Holland was given the win.
Rangers starter Derek Holland was subpar, allowing six runs on eight hits over six innings, walking two and striking out seven. Holland, who gave up two more home runs Sunday, has now served up nine home runs in the four starts since coming off the disabled list.
Royals starter Luke Hochevar gave up five runs -- four of them unearned -- over six innings in the non-decision.
Kansas City opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, when Perez hit a two-run double off Holland that put the Rangers in a 2-0 hole. It wasn't until the fourth inning that Texas' offense woke up. Josh Hamilton led off the inning with a double, then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Adrian Beltre then singled in Hamilton for Texas' first run of the day and Beltre's first RBI in 12 games. After Nelson Cruz was hit by a pitch to put two runners on, Beltre took advantage of a throwing error from Butler on a David Murphy hit and scored to tie it up 2-2.
Mike Napoli struck out but Mitch Moreland walked to load the bases for Olt, who drove in his first career RBI the previous night. Olt hit a sacrifice fly to right that allowed Cruz to score and advanced Murphy to third, then Elvis Andrus tripled in Murphy and Moreland to make it 5-2 Texas. Michael Young grounded out to end the inning but Texas amassed five runs on three hits in the inning.
Kansas City slowly chipped away at that lead, as Francoeur hit a solo home run in the fourth and Butler had an RBI single in the fifth. In the bottom of the sixth, #8 hitter Brayan Pena hit a two-run shot off Holland that also scored Francoeur and put the Royals up 6-5.
Mike Olt tied it in the seventh, leading off the inning with a walk and advancing to second on Andrus' single. Michael Young then hit a double that scored Olt for the tying run, but Andrus was thrown out at home trying for the go-ahead run.
Texas next heads to Boston, where they will face the 54-55 Red Sox in a three-game series that starts Monday night.