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September 20, 2013

Royals 2, Rangers 1 (F)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Neftali Feliz walked No. 9 hitter Alcides Escobar with two outs in a disastrous eighth inning, and the Rangers collected only five hits in a 2-1 loss to Kansas City that could leave them on the outside of the wild-card standings.

The game was tied 1-1 when Jason Frasor opened the eighth with strikeouts of Billy Butler and Salvador Perez. But Lorenzo Cain singled to keep the inning alive, and Mike Moustakas followed with a bloop single to put runners at the corners.

Frasor was ahead of pinch hitter David Lough 1-2 in the count, but Lough came back to draw a walk to fill the bases. Feliz entered, and threw four straight balls to Escobar to put the Royals out front.

The Rangers did nothing against Royals All-Star closer Greg Holland in the ninth.

The Rangers scored first as Adrian Beltre started the second with a single and scored on a double by A.J. Pierzynski as the Royals couldn't execute the relay from right-center field. But Ervin Santana would retire the next 11 batters.

David Murphy ended the run with a two-out double in the fifth, Leonys Martin followed with an infield hit, and Ian Kinsler walked to load the bases. It looked like the Rangers would score on a wild pitch, but the ball hit the base of the backstop and caromed back to catcher Salvador Perez and Murphy held.

Elvis Andrus struck out to end the threat.

Kansas City didn't fare much better against Martin Perez, who had lost consecutive starts after winning six in a row.

The left-hander didn't have a 1-2-3 inning, though three times he retired the first two batters in an inning before allowing the next two to reach. Seven of the 12 base runners he allowed reached with two outs, including Justin Maxwell on a second-inning double that eluded a diving Leonys Martin for the Royals' first run.

Perez gave up seven hits, walked four batters and hit another, but Kansas City got him for only the one run before he exited after 5 2/3 innings and 107 pitches. He also survived a line drive off his pitch arm, near his elbow, in the fifth.

-- Jeff Wilson

 

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