The Texas Rangers (45-46) took two of three from the Kansas City Royals (45-45) in its final regular season matchup at Kauffman Stadium this season. The Rangers won the season-series 6-1.
Friday’s game was the first of this three-game series between the Royals and the Rangers. Ranger third basemen Adrian Beltre tied the game, 3-3, with a three-run home run in the sixth inning, his eighth. Then, Mike Napoli hit a pinch-hit, two-run home run in place of first basemen Joey Gallo in the seventh to give the Rangers a 5-3 lead.
Ranger starter Martin Perez benefited from a 10-day break on Friday night against the Royals. He gave the Rangers a quality start, which consisted of seven innings pitched, three earned runs, one walk and one strikeout. Then, ex-closer Matt Bush earned his third hold with one strikeout over one inning of work and current closer Alex Claudio earned his second save with a strikeout over a perfect inning. Rangers won 5-3.
Beltre untied Boston Hall-of-Famer Carl Yastrzemski for 38th on the all-time MLB home run list with his 453rd in Friday’s game. Next on the list is Tiger first basemen Miguel Cabrera who has 458 home runs.
Offense was not Saturday’s theme as the lone run came on a RBI single from Ranger designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo. Choo’s single came in the ninth inning and drove-in Joey Gallo, who had just entered the game as a pinch-runner for catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
A left-handed pitchers’ duel was the theme on Saturday night between Royals starter Danny Duffy and Rangers starter Cole Hamels. Duffy received a loss after 8 1/3 innings pitched, four strikeouts and giving up Choo’s one-out RBI single. Hamels received a no-decision after 7 2/3 scoreless innings, which included a walk and five strikeouts. Then, reliever Jose Leclerc finished the eighth to earn the win with a strikeout and Claudio secured the shutout with a perfect ninth inning for his third save. Rangers won 1-0.
Ranger reserve-player Drew Robinson, who played third base in place of Beltre, hit his third home run, a solo shot, to tie the game, 1-1, in the third. Then, Napoli, who played first in place of Gallo, hit a solo home run, his 20th, to tie the game, 2-2, in the seventh. In the next inning, left fielder Nomar Mazara hit a RBI single to drive in shortstop Elvis Andrus to tie the game, 3-3.
Ranger starter Yu Darvish gave the Rangers a quality start consisting of 6 2/3 innings pitched, three runs, two earned runs, a walk and six strikeouts. Bush followed Darvish’s solid performance with a strikeout to close out the seventh and Claudio pitched a perfect eighth. Then, veteran reliever Jason Grilli allowed a two-out, bases-loaded, walk-off RBI single to Royal center fielder Lorenzo Cain in the ninth. Rangers lose 4-3.
After two hits in this three-game series against Kansas City, Beltre sits at 2,980 career hits.
The Rangers will travel to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to face the Baltimore Orioles (42-49) for the second of a three-series road trip, which can be heard on:
Monday- Franchise 2 1560AM at 5:30 CT
Tuesday- Franchise 2 1560AM at 5:30 CT
Wednesday- Franchise 2 1560AM at 5:30 CT
Thursday- Franchise 2 1560AM at 5:30 CT