Guerrero homers twice to lift Rangers over Royals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Vladimir Guerrero put on a show with a pair of two-run homers. Then he really impressed everyone.
He added an RBI double on a pitch few batters would have been able to handle, putting an amazing capper on the Rangers’ 8-7 win over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
“It’s unbelievable to watch,” teammate Josh Hamilton said. “Everybody is kind of in awe. He hit two home runs and then they throw a ball inside and he hits it a rifle bullet down the line and keeps it fair.”
Guerrero, who was limited to 100 games last year after two stints on the disabled list, is hitting .347 with 12 home runs and 42 RBIs in 45 games.
“I really didn’t have any expectations,” Guerrero said through an interpreter. “The key is staying healthy. If I’m healthy I can do some things.”
Guerrero is hitting .444 with five home runs and 12 RBIs against the Royals this season. It was his 41st multihomer game and his second this season, both against the Royals. He leads the majors with 29 RBIs in May.
Guerrero homered in the first and fifth innings before doubling in the seventh.
“He’s got the best set of hands I’ve ever seen on a hitter. That double he hit was just ridiculous,” said Michael Young “That was a good pitch, running down and in and he managed to keep his hands inside of it, keep it fair and hit it hard. I think if he takes that, it hits him in the back of the knee. I really don’t know how he did it.”
Hamilton and Nelson Cruz homered back-to-back in the fourth inning off Royals starter Gil Meche, who gave up four home runs in the first five innings after yielding only three in his first eight starts.
The Royals tied it at 6 with a three-run sixth to chase Rangers’ right-hander Rich Harden. Willie Bloomquist contributed a two-run triple on an 11 pitch at-bat off Harden and scored on Jason Kendall’s suicide squeeze bunt to tie the score.
“It was a good outing,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Harden. “We just couldn’t hold onto the lead for him to get out of there with a win. I’m pleased with what he did. If he throws the ball like that, he’s going to get us a lot of wins. We kept getting away from them and they kept coming back.”
Kendall also drove in a run in the third with a sacrifice fly, while Billy Butler had two doubles and a RBI for the Royals, who are 0-5 against the Rangers this year.
“The pitches they hit were right over the plate,” Meche said. “There wasn’t one pitch they hit that they shouldn’t have hit over the fence where they hit them in those locations. It was a badly pitched game.”
Darren O’Day (2-2) allowed one run on three hits in one inning after relieving Harden. Brad Thompson (0-3), the second of five Kansas City pitchers, lost after giving up two runs on two hits without retiring a batter.
Rookie Neftali Feliz worked the ninth for his 13th save in 15 opportunities.
NOTES: Royals SS Yuniesky Betancourt left after five innings with dizziness after a third inning collision at the plate with Rangers C Matt Treanor. … Royals RF David DeJesus missed the game to attend the birth of his first child, David Kingston DeJesus Jr., in Kansas City. … The Rangers snapped a five-game road losing streak. … The Royals purchased the contract of IF Wilson Betemit from Triple-A Omaha, where he was hitting .265, and optioned RHP Bryan Bullington to the Pacific Coast League club.
Updated May 25, 2010