Royals 2, Rangers 1(10)
So what’s wrong all of a sudden with Neftali Feliz?
Nothing, according to the radar gun. The Texas closer is still
bringing heat at a 98, 99-MPH clip.
Nevertheless, the Kansas City Royals broke through against him
for the second night in a row Thursday. This time, the Rangers
failed to stop them in extra innings as Jeff Francoeur’s RBI single
in the 10th off Cody Eppler plated Melky Cabrera with the winning
run in a 2-1 victory.
The night before, Feliz failed to convert a save opportunity for
the first time in 20 tries when Eric Hosmer belted a tying homer
leading off the ninth. Until then, he had converted 25 straight
save opportunities on the road.
”Whatever happened yesterday happened,” Feliz said through an
interpreter. ”I went out there today and tried to do my
Feliz said he would try to just keep going and regain the touch
that’s made him one of the league’s most feared closers.
”I feel bad because today the team lost,” he said. ”I’m going
to do my best not to go crazy about it and put it behind me.”
Feliz relieved after Derek Holland had thrown eight shutout
innings but allowed a leadoff single to Hosmer in the ninth. Hosmer
went to second on a single by Francoeur, then Feliz got the first
two outs on flyballs before the runners moved up on a wild
Mike Aviles, after fouling off five 3-2 pitches, drove in the
tying run with an infield single that shortstop Elvis Andrus
stopped from going into the outfield, keeping the Royals from
scoring the winning run.
Holland insisted he’s not lost an ounce of confidence in his
”He did what he had to do. It was just one of those nights,”
he said. ”Nine times out of 10 he’s going to get the job done.
This was the one. There’s nothing to worry about. He’ll be all
right. He’ll get back in there and get that save for us.”
Greg Holland (1-0), called up from Triple-A Omaha hours earlier,
pitched 1 1-3 innings for his first major league win.
Cabrera hit a one-out single off Darren Oliver (1-5) in the
10th, his third hit of the night, and sped to third when Hosmer
singled into right for his third hit. Eppley then relieved and gave
up the RBI single to Francoeur that stopped the Royals’ five-game
losing streak with their seventh walkoff win.
Holland had one walk and five strikeouts while dueling Luke
Hochevar. He gave up only six hits and one run in 8 2-3
Chris Davis, in the game because Michael Young was given his
first night off of the year, hit Hochevar’s 2-1 pitch leading off
the second for his third home run.
”My first at-bat, he got behind me with some off-speed stuff,”
Davis said. ”He left one out over the plate and I was able to hit
it through the wind. He looked good all night. He was changing
speeds and spotting up. We really couldn’t put a lot together
against him. When he was getting ahead he was pretty much shoving
Holland relieved Hochevar with two outs in the ninth after Mitch
Moreland and Yorvit Torrealba hit two-out singles.
The Royals had at least one baserunner in every inning but the
second against Holland, a 24-year-old left-hander. But the Rangers
turned two double plays behind him and the Royals had four runners
thrown out on the bases.
Texas shortstop Andres Blanco, who had never played in the
outfield in the major leagues, went into right field in the bottom
of the fourth after Endy Chavez was removed with tightness in his
Blanco bobbled the ball momentarily on his first chance when
Francoeur singled into right in the sixth. But he recovered in time
to nail Francoeur sliding into second on what would have been a
single and an error had he been safe.
”You look at the radar gun, I don’t think he’s doing anything
different,” he said. ”There were some pitches to me that I don’t
even know how I got on. They felt like they were off the plate. But
with two strikes, you have to keep going, trying to foul them off
until you get something to hit. I just saw typical Feliz. We were
just able to put together some things against him.”
NOTES: Alex Gordon’s first-inning single snapped an 0-for-10
skid. … Cabrera has had 16 multihit games this season. … These
two games will be all the Rangers play in Kauffman Stadium this
season, their shortest series in KC ever.