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

best.”

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

pitch.

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

closer.

”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

innings.

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

it.”

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

right hamstring.

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.