Kansas City Royals keep slimmest division lead with 4-3 victory


The Kansas City Royals avoided another washout from Mother Nature, and held their slippery grip on their division lead over the Detroit Tigers with a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers. The Royals maintain a half-game lead over the Detroit Tigers, winners earlier in the day over the Cleveland Indians.

A night after the Royals let a ninth inning lead slip away in a game suspended after the top of the ninth due to a deluge from the skies, closer Greg Holland put the cover on any trickle of a comeback.

The Royals didn’t make it easy on themselves. While Yordano Ventura (11-9, 3.38) kept the Rangers scoreless through five innings, the Royals jumped out with four runs in the first four innings. Salvador Perez was the offensive catalyst, hitting a run-scoring double in the first and two-run home run in the third.

Colby Lewis (9-12, 5.42) gave up all four runs, then settled down to pitch three successive scoreless innings. Just enough time for a cloud burst from the Rangers.

Ventura wavered in giving up one run in the sixth. Then he swayed in giving up two runs in the seventh before being bailed out by Kelvin Herrera who came on to get the final two outs of the inning.

Wade Davis held firm ground in the eighth before Holland collected his 41st save in the ninth. As soon as the final out was recorded, the rains came, seemingly mocking Holland’s watery erosion the day before when he gave up two unearned runs in the ninth to the Cleveland Indians.

The Royals had chances to add on late, but bailed on their opportunities. Jarrod Dyson led off the seventh with a double. Never looking at his third base coach, Dyson was caught rounding second in an indecisive move toward third. In the eighth, the Royals put runners on second and third with one out, but Lorenzo Cain chased two fastballs under his chin, foul-tipping the second one into a strike out. Manager Ned Yost left Mike Moustakas in to face lefty Alex Claudio, who induced a 3-1 ground out to pour water on the flame.

NOTABLES: Carlos Peguera picked up a double in his first game with the Royals. Lane Adams made his Major League debut as a pinch runner for Raul Ibanez in the eighth inning. Eric Hosmer returned from the disabled list and a short stint in Omaha by going 1-for-4.

NEXT: Derek Holland (0-0, 0.00) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (10-10, 4.43), 7:10 p.m. at Kaufman Stadium.