Andrus’ RBI single in 9th pushes Rangers past Royals 2-1
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Elvis Andrus hit an RBI single with one out in the ninth inning and the Texas Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals 2-1 on Saturday night.
It was the second time in three games that the Rangers won in their final at-bat against Kansas City.
Rougned Odor led off the ninth with a sharp single off Travis Wood (0-2), who didn’t face another batter before Peter Moylan took over. After Odor stole second base, Andrus hit a sharp single to left field.
Matt Bush (1-0) threw a scoreless ninth with a strikeout.
Mike Napoli homered for the Rangers, who have won three straight games for the first time this season. They go for a four-game sweep on Sunday.
Wood was also the loser in the series opener Thursday night when the Rangers won 1-0 in 13 innings. Up until then, Wood had made 105 consecutive appearances without a loss and was tied with Moylan for the longest active streak in the majors. Moylan is now at 107 consecutive appearances without being charged with a loss.
Both starting pitchers, Ian Kennedy for Kansas City and Nick Martinez for the Rangers, allowed one run on four hits over seven innings.
Martinez was called up from Triple-A Round Rock for a spot start after A.J. Griffin was put on the 10-day disabled list because of gout in his left ankle. Martinez matched his longest appearance in 51 major league starts, and took a no-hitter into the sixth.
Kansas City’s first hit was on No. 9 hitter Drew Butera’s single through the left side of the infield with one out in the sixth. The ball ricocheted off the glove of diving third baseman Joey Gallo and then a diving Andrus at shortstop. That was the first of three singles in a four-batter stretch, including Mike Moustakas driving home Butera .
Napoli led off the second with his third homer of the season, an opposite-field shot that barely cleared the wall in the right-field corner.
Andrus had a defensive gem in the fifth inning. He went way to his right to backhand a grounder, then made the throw with his body falling away from first base to get Whit Merrifield by a step.
Royals: C Salvador Perez was scratched from the starting lineup because of neck stiffness. … OF Jorge Soler (strained left oblique) hit a three-run homer in the first game of his injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha on Friday. Manager Ned Yost said there is no timetable for Soler’s return.
Rangers: RHP Sam Dyson (bruised right hand) threw live batting practice and is expected to make a couple of rehab appearances in the minors next week. “His slider was sharper, his sinker was late,” pitching coach Doug Brocail said. Dyson lost his closer role with three blown saves and a 27.00 ERA this season. “I’ve really allowed the last few weeks to overwhelm me in the sense of sitting trying to overanalyze everything,” he said.
Royals: RHP Jason Hammel (0-1), who pitched in the NL for the Chicago Cubs the last 2 1/2 seasons, is winless in his last 16 road starts against AL teams. His last road win against the AL was May 5, 2013, when pitching for the Orioles at the Angels. He got a no-decision April 6 at Minnesota in his only road start since joining Kansas City as a free agent last winter.
Rangers: RHP Yu Darvish (1-2) is 1-3 with a 5.93 ERA in his last five home starts.
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