Rangers 5, Royals 4(11)
On just about any other night, the 13 walks their pitchers
issued would have been the most embarrassing aspect of Kansas
City’s 5-4 loss to the Texas Rangers.
But this was not any other night.
After rookie sensation Eric Hosmer homered off Texas closer
Neftali Feliz in the ninth inning to tie it 3-all, injecting the
crowd and the team with a big dose of momentum and energy, Feliz
walked the next two batters.
But he then picked off pinch-runners Jarrod Dyson and Mike
Aviles, back to back, one right after the other, taking all the air
right out of the Kansas City sails.
The Rangers said they had never seen such a thing. According to
STATS LLC, it hadn’t happened since a Cubs-Mets game more than
eight years ago.
According to Aviles and Royals manager Ned Yost, Feliz should
have been called for two balks, not credited with two pickoffs.
”He bent his front knee. He definitely did,” Aviles said. ”He
had a balk move and it went unnoticed and he picked two guys off.
His left knee broke forward. His left knee bent. Once your left
knee bends, you’ve got to go to the plate.”
Rangers manager Ron Washington scoffed at the notion.
”There’s pitchers in the league who are doing that. The umpire
never called a balk,” he said. ”So I don’t know anything about
Neftali having a balk move. Of course there’s other guys in the
league doing that. The umpire didn’t call it a balk. That’s all
I’ve got to say about it.”
Yost sided with his player.
”My opinion is he was balking. He was breaking his front leg
and then coming to first base,” he said. ”The umpires are going
to have to keep their eyes on that. It’s a good move.”
Aviles admitted the pickoffs shouldn’t have happened in the
”But it shouldn’t be that close. That can’t happen,” he said.
”But that’s just the way baseball goes sometimes, I guess.”
Jeremy Jeffress walked the bases full in the 11th, running the
Royals’ total on the night to 13. Then Adrian Beltre, who came in
with a career average of .373 in Kauffman Stadium, delivered a
solid single into center. Endy Chavez scored easily and Ian Kinsler
scored on a close play at the plate.
Brayan Pena had an RBI single in the bottom of the 11th.
Yost said there was nothing to blame the walks on.
”No, we just have to command better,” he said.
Danny Duffy, the ninth rookie to be added to the Royals roster,
made his major league debut and issued six of the walks. In
four-plus innings, he also gave up two runs and four hits, and
struck out four.
”I didn’t have much control tonight and that’s contrary to what
I’ve been doing,” the left-hander said. ”I feel like I doubled my
walk total for the year. It was fun. I had a great time. But I
didn’t come up here to keep my team in the game. I came up here to
”I thought Duffy threw the ball great,” Yost said. ”His pitch
count got way up. But stuff-wise, very impressive. Very
Mark Lowe gave up Pena’s RBI single with two outs in the 11th to
make it 5-4 but finished for his first save. Arthur Rhodes (2-2)
got two outs in the 10th for the win.
The Rangers had gone ahead 3-2 in the top of the ninth on a
pinch-hit RBI single by Elvis Andrus.
Joakim Soria, on his 27th birthday, walked Craig Gentry leading
off the Texas ninth. Chavez sacrificed him to second and then
Andrus, batting for Andres Blanco, who was 2 for 4, delivered an
Texas’ Alexi Ogando went seven strong innings, his eighth
straight career start without a loss, two shy of the club record.
The right-hander, who spent last year in the bullpen, allowed two
runs and four hits, failing in only one inning to set the Royals
down 1-2-3. He walked one and struck out five.
Chavez singled and came around to score on Beltre’s fielder’s
choice grounder in the third inning and then the Rangers tied it
2-all in the fourth without putting the ball in play. No. 9 hitter
Craig Gentry drew a two-out walk and stole second, then Chavez
walked and the two pulled a double steal. When Duffy bounced a
breaking pitch in the dirt, Gentry scored on the wild pitch as the
ball rolled toward the backstop.
Until Wilson Betemit singled with one out in the seventh, Ogando
had retired 14 in a row. Then Betemit was caught stealing and Matt
Treanor struck out.
NOTES: The Texas team record for most starts beginning a career
without a loss is 10, by Gerald Alexander from Sept. 9, 1990, to
July 21, 1991. … It was the 60th birthday of Jim Sundberg, a
Rangers front office executive and the man who scored the winning
run on a headfirst slide in Kansas City’s Game 6 World Series
victory over St. Louis in 1985. … Sugar Ray Marimon and Chas
Byrne combined on a no-hitter for KC’s Class-A Kane County team at
Cedar Rapids on Tuesday night.