For most of the night, it looked as though this would be just another brutal performance for the Royals, possibly resulting in the type of gut wrenching loss that had been all to common lately. Instead, Salvador Perez ripped a two out single in the bottom of the eighth for the go ahead run, giving the Royals a much needed 2-1 victory over the Texas Rangers.
Jeremy Guthrie squared off against Rangers starter Derek Holland, who was making his 2014 season debut. Holland appeared to be in midseason form, mixing his pitches and keeping the Royals off balance. Fortunately, Guthrie was up to the task of facing Holland, getting double play after double play to keep the Rangers off the board.
The Royals broke through in the bottom of the third. Alcides Escobar lined a ball to left that Ryan Rua, playing left field for the first time, did not reach out for, falling in for a ground rule double. A sacrifice bunt moved Escobar to third, and Nori Aoki followed with a ball that sliced towards the line in left. The Further Misadventures of Rua continued, as he missed the diving attempt to catch Aoki’s hit, resulting in an RBI double and a 1-0 Royals lead.
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Misadventures in left played a part in the Rangers run. In the top of the fifth, Rougned Odor lined the ball into the left center gap. Alex Gordon misread the ball off the bat, as the ball got past him for a triple. With the infield in, Daniel Robertson grounded to short, plating Odor to tie the game at 1-1.
Both teams had their chances. The Royals received leadoff doubles from Nori Aoki and Eric Hosmer in the sixth and seventh innings respectively, but were unable to bring home the go ahead run. Likewise, the Rangers had a chance in the top of the eighth, as Alex Rios singled with two out, stole second and took third as Salvador Perez’s throw hit off his head and caromed into center. After Adrian Beltre was intentionally walked, Rua came to the plate with the chance to atone for his miscues in the field. Instead, Jason Frasor struck him out to end the threat.
The Royals finally broke through again in the bottom of the inning. Mike Moustakas doubled to lead off the inning, and was replaced with pinch runner extraordinaire Terrance Gore. After failing to get down a sacrifice bunt, Jarrod Dyson grounded sharply to first. With the drawn infield, Gore was thrown out at third. Dyson then proceeded to steal second and, after an out, third. After Gordon was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners, Salvador Perez followed by ripping a line drive down the third base line that rolled out of Beltre’s glove for a run scoring base hit, giving the Royals a 2-1 lead.
With the Royals fearsome threesome of relievers unavailable to pitch, Aaron Crow came in to nail down the save, preserving the Royals 2-1 victory. Frasor worked around a hit and a walk, striking out one while recording two outs for the victory. Jeremy Guthrie had a solid start, allowing one run on eight hits, striking out one in his seven innings of work.
Aoki was 2-3 with two doubles and an RBI in the victory.