Royals score five in 14th, beat Rangers
Rookie Eric Hosmer is a quick learner.
Melky Cabrera and Hosmer hit consecutive one-out homers in a five-run 14th inning and the Kansas City Royals snapped a five-game losing streak with a 12-7 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
Hosmer, called up from Triple-A Omaha on May 6, was in a 2-for-20 slide entering the game. He finished with four hits and four RBI for the first time in his career.
Hosmer was playing his 19th big league game, and he's beginning to understand the adjustments he must make to be productive at this level.
"I was just thinking too much, thinking about what the pitcher was going to throw instead of just doing what I usually do, which is just reacting," Hosmer said. "It's all about adjustments up here. You're still learning stuff every day. I'm going to keep adjusting, keep looking at film and keep working in the cage and hopefully we'll keep having more nights like this."
Cabrera hit a drive over the center field fence off Dave Bush (0-1) to snap a 7-all tie, and Hosmer gave the Royals a two-run lead. Brayan Pena added a three-run homer off Bush.
The Royals followed Hosmer's lead, winning for the third time in 13 games.
"He's a great player and he's a player that's proven that he belongs in the big leagues," Pena said. "He's doing a great job for us, working and improving. When you see a young guy like that doing that, it's very inspiring."
Blake Wood (2-0), the sixth Royals pitcher, threw a perfect 13th for the win.
Texas closer Neftali Feliz came on to protect a 7-6 lead in the top of the ninth, but Alex Gordon's one-out solo homer 423 feet into the upper deck in right field tied it. Feliz had his third blown save in 13 chances.
Feliz had thrown 10 straight fastballs when Gordon saw one he liked.
"Gordon got it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "The pitch he hit was 99 miles an hour. He earned it."
The Rangers would like Feliz to mix in more breaking pitches, but he was successful with a fastball-heavy mix last season when he was AL Rookie of the Year with 40 saves.
"Up to that point, the fastball was doing pretty good," Washington said. "(Pitching coach Mike Maddox) mentioned (avoiding the reliance on the fastball), start using his breaking stuff, and he went out the next inning and did it."
Ian Kinsler and David Murphy homered in a five-run first for the Rangers, but Texas was shut out by the Royals bullpen over the final 12 innings.
"The bullpen was spectacular," <fstl:categorylink categoryId="71593">Royals</fstl:categorylink> manager Ned Yost said. "For them to go 12 scoreless innings in that ballgame was spectacular."
Kansas City has gone to extra innings in five of its last nine games, three in a row against Texas.
Royals rookie Nate Adcock was knocked around for seven runs and eight hits in 2 2-3 innings in his second big-league start.
Texas starter Colby Lewis also struggled early as Kansas City scored three times in the first. Gordon, Cabrera and Hosmer opened the game with doubles, and Wilson Betemit contributed a run-scoring single.
Lewis had allowed three runs in his previous three starts over a span of 23 innings.
Kinsler got the bottom of the first underway with his third leadoff homer of the season and 16th of his career, extending his club record.
Later in the inning, Michael Young added a run-scoring double, Cruz had an RBI groundout, and Murphy's two-run blast gave the Rangers a 5-3 advantage.
In the second, Hosmer's two-run single and Billy Butler's RBI single gave Kansas City a 6-5 edge. Two of the three runs were unearned because of catcher Yorvit Torrealba's throwing error on Alcides Escobar's sacrifice bunt.
Texas answered with a two-run second aided by Jeff Francoeur's overthrow from right field on Elvis Andrus' single. The ball sailed into the photo well to the left of the Royals dugout for an error, allowing Kinsler to score from first and Andrus to take third. Andrus crossed the plate on Josh Hamilton's groundout to put Texas back in front, 7-6.
From there, Lewis settled down, retiring the last 10 batters he faced and 13 of his last 14.
Lewis, who's lasted at least six innings in each of his last six starts, gave up six runs - four earned - and seven hits in six innings.
NOTES: Kinsler snapped a streak of 30 games without a homer. ... RHP Felipe Paulino, acquired by the Royals on Thursday in a trade with Colorado, joined the team late Friday afternoon and was in the game by the third inning. Paulino allowed one hit in 4 1-3 shutout innings. ... Rangers RHP Brandon Webb had his final bullpen session before he begins a minor league rehab assignment. He's scheduled to start for Double-A Frisco on Monday night. Webb, the 2006 NL Cy Young winner for the Arizona Diamondbacks who's currently on the 60-day disabled list, is trying to come back from right rotator cuff surgery in August of 2009. ... Hamilton was DH for the third straight game but is expected to be in LF on Saturday night. Hamilton missed 36 games due to a broken bone in his right shoulder, and wants to reclaim his spot in the outfield.