Elvis Andrus stroked a game--winning RBI single with two outs to complete a ninth-inning comeback in the Texas Rangers’ 7-6 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
The Royals had taken a 6-5 lead in the top of the ninth where Alcides Escobar hit a sacrifice-fly RBI, but Texas’ Nelson Cruz tied the score with a solo home run in the bottom half against losing relief pitcher Joakim Soria.
Mike Napoli, who went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, singled in the ninth and sped around all the way from first base, sliding under the tag of catcher Brayan Pena to score the winning run.
“I thought they might hold me [at third],” Napoli told reporters. “But when they tell me to go, I go.”
“I was caught in-between [when the ball got to the plate] and I had to do something there. I was going to try to kick it out of his glove. I thought that was my best chance,” he said.
The tumbling Royals were sent to their 12th loss in the last 15 games.
Kansas City (23-29) looked to be heading toward winning form when they scored five times in the fourth to claim a 5-2 lead, aided by a three-run blast from Pena.
However, the AL West-leading Rangers (28-25) climbed back with a run in the fifth and a two-run homer in the eighth from Michael Young to even the game at 5-5.
Texas’ surprising second-year pitcher Alexi Ogando was aiming for his sixth win against no losses this season, but he took the no-decision after allowing five runs in six innings.
Arthur Rhodes got the win after he came on for the final out in the ninth as the Royals had a man on base.
Kansas City rookie pitcher Danny Duffy allowed three runs in six innings, but was let down by his bullpen. Closer Soria has blown four saves in his last 11 chances.
“[Soria] will figure it out,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “And you know why? Because he’s a good pitcher. He’s an All-Star--caliber guy. That doesn’t happen by accident.”
In other AL action, it was:
‧ Rays 7, Indians 0
‧ Red Sox 4, Tigers 3, Game 1
‧ Tigers 3, Red Sox 0, Game 2
‧ Yankees 7, Mariners 1
‧ Blue Jays 13, White Sox 4
‧ Athletics 6, Orioles 4
‧ Angels 6, Twins 5
Jose Reyes tripled twice for the third time this season and a refreshed Josh Thole had three hits and three RBIs as the New York Mets enjoyed a rare offensive outburst in a 9-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
Reyes had four of New York’s season-high 17 hits and Jonathon Niese (4-5) didn’t allow an earned run against a makeshift Phillies lineup. Daniel Murphy matched a career high with three hits.
The Mets, held to three runs or fewer in nine of their previous 11 games, equaled their season high for runs and prevented a three-game sweep. Reyes equaled a career high with his sixth straight multi-hit game, the longest active streak in the majors.
New York tagged an ineffective Vance Worley (2-1) for 12 hits in three innings, sending the rookie to his first loss in four major league starts this season. The Mets improved to 3-6 this year against Philadelphia, which had won four straight and eight of 11 overall.
BREWERS 6, GIANTS 0
In Milwaukee, Yovani Gallardo allowed four hits in eight innings to win his fifth straight start as the Brewers wrapped up an 8-1 homestand.
Gallardo (7-2) retired 14 in a row before allowing a single to Aubrey Huff in the seventh. San Francisco didn’t have a runner in scoring position until two outs in the eighth.
Milwaukee took a 2-0 lead off Matt Cain (3-4) in the first innings on singles by Ryan Braun and Casey McGehee. Prince Fielder drove in a run in the third, and Rickie Weeks added a two-out, two-run double in the sixth.
The Brewers are an NL-best and franchise-record 21-7 at home.
San Francisco has lost four of five after a five-game winning streak. Freddy Sanchez singled in the first for his 1,000th career hit, but the Giants managed only five baserunners against Gallardo.
PADRES 5, NATIONALS 4
In Washington, Ryan Ludwick had three hits and two RBIs, including a go-ahead infield single in the ninth inning, while Brad Hawpe had two hits and two RBIs as San Diego edged Washington.
Pinch-hitter Jorge Cantu broke an 0-for-13 slump with a double to right off Drew Storen (4-2). With two outs, Ludwick grounded a ball up the middle that bounced off shortstop Ian Desmond’s glove for a hit. Cantu barely beat Desmond’s throw home. It was the first time San Diego scored more than three runs in 11 games, and gave them a series win over Washington.
In other NL action, it was:
‧ Diamondbacks 4, Astros 2
‧ Cardinals 4, Rockies 3
‧ Dodgers 8, Marlins 0
‧ Cubs 3, Pirates 2
‧ Braves 2, Reds 1