Royals slide by Rangers 10-9 in bottom of 9th
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Willie Bloomquist gambled twice on the base paths in the ninth inning and it paid off.
Bloomquist stole third with one out and scored on an Alexi Ogando wild pitch with two outs in the ninth to help the Kansas City Royals beat the Texas Rangers 10-9 Tuesday night.
Wilson Betemit opened the ninth with a double and Bloomquist ran for him. With one out Brayan Pena walked. One out later, Bloomquist swiped third. After Alex Gordon struck out, Bloomquist came home on an Ogando wild pitch on ball four to Yuniesky Betancourt.
“I was in scoring position with no outs,” Bloomquist said. “I didn’t want to run recklessly. I didn’t want to force anything or run us out of inning. If you get to third base, there are a few more ways to score from there than second.”
Ogando’s wild pitch caromed off the backstop and catcher Matt Treanor made a good throw to Ogando covering home, but Bloomquist slid in ahead of the tag.
“Once it got past him I was taking my chances with two out and that guy throwing 100,” Bloomquist said. “That’s what I was waiting on. That’s why I was trying to get to third base right there in case something like that is going to happen. You try to steal a win like that. It worked out.”
Joakim Soria (1-2) picked up the victory, allowing one hit in a scoreless ninth. Oliver (1-2), who started the ninth, took the loss and has allowed 11 earned runs in 10 innings in his past 13 outings.
Even if it wasn’t my fault, we lost, the game ended and I was a part of the final act so, yes, I feel bad,” Treanor said. “I feel like I just need to catch the ball. It’s not really a pitch you can block. It’s a pitch you have to catch and I didn’t get it in the web. Blocking 98 mph sliders in the dirt and blocking the plate and catching pitches like this, it’s all part of the job.”
Texas got home runs from Vladimir Guerrero, Michael Young, David Murphy and Mitch Moreland. Guerrero hit a two-run homer in a three-run fifth, while the other home runs were solo shots. Young went 4 for 5 with two RBIs.
Rangers left-hander Cliff Lee is winless in his past five starts with an 8.28 ERA while allowing 27 earned runs on 44 hits in 29 1-3 innings. He left after 4 2-3 innings, his shortest outing since Sept. 20, 2009, allowing seven runs and 10 hits.
The Royals scored three unearned runs in the third after Lee’s throwing error.
“I feel like if I make a throw to second and turn two we win the game,” Lee said. “I made a play on that (ground) ball and then threw the ball into centerfield. It’s a play I can make and a play I have made. The offense kept rallying back and kept us in the game, so I feel like if I can make that play we can win the game.”
After the game it was announced the Rangers acquired outfielder Jeff Francoeur and cash considerations from the New York Mets for infielder Joaquin Arias, who had been designated for assignment last week when Alex Cora was called up by the Rangers.
Francoeur, the right-handed hitter the Rangers need coming off the bench, is hitting .237 with 11 homers and 54 RBIs and leads the NL with 11 outfield assists. Arias batted .276 in 50 games for the Rangers, including 22 starts. He had two stints on the disabled list.
The Royals scored five runs in the fifth to take a 9-6 lead. Gordon and Jai Miller each contributed two-run doubles in the inning. Mike Aviles’ two-out single scored Miller with the final run of the fifth.
Royals reliever Jesse Chavez, however, failed to hold the lead for one inning. He gave up a solo home run to Moreland and consecutive two-out doubles to Elvis Andrus, Young and Josh Hamilton for two more runs.
Royals right-hander Sean O’Sullivan, who is 0-4 in six starts since being acquired in a July 22 trade with the Los Angeles Angels, left after five innings, allowing six runs and nine hits, including three home runs.
“I wasn’t putting up zeroes when I needed to,” O’Sullivan said. “It was more fun to watch than to pitch.”
Betancourt homered, his 14th, in the second for the first Royals run.
Notes: Rangers manager Ron Washington said Hamilton would not be in the lineup Wednesday after having a shot after Tuesday’s game in his sore right knee. RHP Rich Harden, who came off the DL Aug. 23 after having right shoulder tendinitis, will not be going back into the rotation after going 5-5 with a 5.17 ERA in 17 starts. Harden was penciled to start Friday, but LHP Derek Holland will start instead at Minnesota. Harden has not pitched in relief since 2007, making three bullpen appearances with Oakland. The Royals will activate RHP Gil Meche, who is on the 60-day DL with a shoulder injury, on Wednesday when rosters can be expanded.
Updated August 21, 2010