ARLINGTON – From a homer in the Little League World Series to his first at-bat in the big leagues, Jurickson Profar has a knack for going deep in crucial situations.
And he delivered another memorable homer in the eighth inning Sunday, a two-out solo shot that scored the go-ahead run in the Texas Rangers’ 3-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
The Rangers took two of three from the Royals, as they ended their four-game homestand 3-1.
With the game tied 1-1 and two outs in the eighth, Profar sent a 1-2 fastball from J.C. Gutierrez over the right-field fence. Elvis Andrus then singled, stole second and moved to third on an error, and scored on a single by David Murphy.
Tanner Scheppers got the win, and Joe Nathan picked up his 17th save. But Yu Darvish turned in the Rangers’ best pitching performance.
Darvish threw seven scoreless innings in a no-decision outing. He had four 1-2-3 innings, and danced out of trouble in his other three.
The biggest threat came in the second when the Royals loaded the bases with no outs. Darvish got Jeff Francoeur to fly out to center, and then Craig Gentry threw out KC’s Billy Butler at the plate trying to score on the play.
Darvish escaped that jam, and another in the fourth after Butler drew a leadoff walk and Mike Moustakas reached on a hit by pitch.
Darvish retired the last eight batters he faced and was at 99 pitches through seven innings, but was pulled for Neal Cotts in the eighth.
Cotts gave up a leadoff double to Alex Gordon, who scored two batters later on a fielder’s choice. Cotts recorded only one out in the eighth, as Scheppers finished off the inning.
-- Drew Davison