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Recap: Rangers 1, Royals 2
Boxscores    Line Movements    BT Movements
Game: 1
Venue: Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium
Date: September 20, 2013 8:10 PM EDT
  

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Rangers manager Ron Washington had a simple assessment of the four pitches that Neftali Feliz threw the Royals' Alcides Escobar with the bases loaded in the eighth inning Friday night.

``There weren't any pitches near the strike zone,' he said.

The result was a two-out walk that forced in the go-ahead run, and pushed Kansas City to a dramatic 2-1 victory over Texas in the opener of a three-game series between playoff contenders.

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The Rangers dropped a half-game behind the Indians, which beat Houston 2-1 in a rain-shortened game, for the second AL wild-card spot. The Royals were three games behind the leading Rays, who were locked in an extra-inning game with the Orioles.

``I'm not worried about Cleveland,' said Washington, whose team has lost 12 of its last 15 games. ``We've got to worry about winning ballgames.'

The Rangers (83-70) and Royals scored matching runs in the second inning before two stingy pitching staffs started throwing up zeros.

The Royals finally broke through when Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas hit consecutive two-out singles off the Rangers' Jason Frasor (4-3) in the eighth. Pinch-hitter David Lough drew a walk on a full-count pitch to load the bases, and Washington brought in Feliz to face Escobar.

Just a .238 hitter, Escobar decided to take the first pitch regardless. It was a ball. Then he figured he'd keep taking pitches until he saw a strike. The next three were balls, too.

The crowd of 30,000 roared as Escobar earned just his 19th walk in more than 600 plate appearances this season, this one giving the Royals a 2-1 lead.

``We had the utmost confidence he was going to get it done right there and he had a great at-bat,' Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Luke Hochevar (5-2) earned the win in relief of Ervin Santana, who allowed one run on five hits in 7 1-3 innings. Greg Holland worked the ninth for his 44th save, helping the Royals (81-72) assure themselves of a non-losing season for the first time since 2003.

``Every game is so big, and that's what makes it fun,' Hochevar said. ``The intensity, the electricity in the ballpark that we've had during this push, it's been awesome.'

The Rangers jumped out to an early lead when Adrian Beltre, whose .374 average coming into the game was the best of any current player at Kauffman Stadium, roped a single to lead off the second. It was followed by a double by A.J. Pierzynski for a 1-0 lead.

The Royals answered in the bottom half when Salvador Perez led off with a double and Justin Maxwell, getting the start in right field, hit a two-out double to tie the game.

Kansas City kept wasting chances in the early innings, though.

Billy Butler grounded into a double play to end the first, Moustakas grounded into another in the second. The Royals worked back-to-back walks in the fourth before Escobar flied out to center field to end yet another scoring threat.

The most egregious mistake came in the sixth, when Maxwell walked and Escobar was hit by a pitch from Rangers starter Martin Perez. Maxwell suddenly took off for third base with Alex Gordon at the plate, and he was easily thrown out by catcher Geovany Soto to end the inning.

Asked whether he was running on his own, Yost replied: ``Yeah.' Good idea? ``Nope.'

None of those jams was as tight as the one Santana worked out of in the fifth. After retiring the first two batters, David Murphy doubled, Leonys Martin singled and Ian Kinsler drew a walk to load the bases. Santana recovered to strike out Elvis Andrus and leave all three aboard.

The Rangers had another opportunity in the eighth, but Hochever got Andrus to fly out to left and Alex Rios to ground out to first to leave Kinsler standing on first base.

``It's a tough lineup and the way Erv pitched all game, he posted the night, and that's exactly what we needed,' Hochevar said. ``He came up with a really big start for us tonight and coming in with one on and a tied game in the eighth, that's the spot that you want to be in. It's a tough spot, but that's what makes it fun.'

NOTES: RHP Matt Garza goes to the mound for the Rangers on Saturday night. The Royals counter with RHP Jeremy Guthrie. ... Soto gave Pierzynski a night off behind the plate. ... Kansas City left 11 runners on base. Texas stranded five.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Rangers at Royals
Fri, Sep 20 Final 1 to 2
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Rangers at Royals
Sat, Sep 21 Final 3 to 1
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Rangers at Royals
Sun, Sep 22 Final 0 to 4
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CLOSING LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 TEX  +119   -190   7 
 KAN  -129   +165   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CLOSING SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 TEX  +120   -180   7 
 KAN  -130   +157   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 TEX  46%   25%   48% 
 KAN  54%   75%   52% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB HEAD TO HEAD
 Jun 2, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 KAN 1 Under: 4 
 TEX 3 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jun 1, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 KAN 4 Cover: +118 
 TEX 1 Under: 5 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 31, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 KAN 2 Under: 9 
 TEX 7 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Mar 18, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 KAN 2 Over: 10 
 TEX 8 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Feb 24, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 KAN 7 Cover: +110 
 TEX 5 Over: 12 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Feb 23, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TEX 2 Over: 6 
 KAN 4 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Feb 22, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 KAN 5 Over: 10 
 TEX 5 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Recaps

 MLB RECAPS
 Friday, Sep 20
 
    Braves at Cubs
2:20 PM EDT
    White Sox at Tigers
7:05 PM EDT
    Giants at Yankees
7:05 PM EDT
    Astros at Indians
7:05 PM EDT
    Marlins at Nationals
7:05 PM EDT
    Mets at Phillies
7:05 PM EDT
    Reds at Pirates
7:05 PM EDT
    Blue Jays at Red Sox
7:10 PM EDT
    Orioles at Rays
7:10 PM EDT
    Rangers at Royals
8:10 PM EDT
    Cardinals at Brewers
8:10 PM EDT
    Diamondbacks at Rockies
8:10 PM EDT
    Mariners at Angels
10:05 PM EDT
    Twins at Athletics
10:05 PM EDT
    Dodgers at Padres
10:10 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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