for this game

Royals ride unlikely heroes to win over Rangers

Jul 29, 2007 - 4:14 AM By Pat Madden PA Sportsticker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) - The bottom of the order and a bounce-back outing by starting pitcher Odalis Perez propelled the Kansas City Royals to their third straight win, a 6-5 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

John Buck collected three hits and two RBI, Emil Brown tallied three hits and Tony Pena Jr. had two RBI as the the Royals' Nos. 7-9 hitters went a combined 8-for-11 with four runs scored and four RBI.

Perez (6-9), who struggled against the Yankees in his last start, made the effort stand up and won for the first time at home since April 20. He allowed three runs on seven hits over six innings, striking out four in his first career start against the Rangers.

"Perez gave us a chance to win after he struggled early," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "He was very good tonight. He changed speeds, he had good command. He did a nice job."

"I went with my fastball down and away, my changeup down and away and cutter away too," Perez said. "After Cruz hit that two-run homer, I felt more comfortable with my pitches being down and away. Everything came out good."

The Royals chased Rangers starting pitcher Kevin Millwood (7-9) in the third inning by scoring four runs, including a two-run single by Pena and RBI singles by Buck and David DeJesus. It was DeJesus's 500th career hit.

"It was a nice night," Bell said. "It was nice to see (Buck), who has been having a little tough time with men in scoring position, come through tonight. He did a great job."

"I know he (Millwood) usually works ahead and kind of fell behind and was able to hit a mistake out over the plate in the first inning in the first at-bat," Buck said. "In the second at-bat, it was 3-2 and he had to be aggressive over the middle of the plate with the bases loaded and he gave me a good pitch to hit and I was able to get it out to left."

Millwood lost for the first time in four career starts at Kansas City. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings, surrendering five runs and nine hits and hit two batters. It was his shortest outing since a 1 2/3-inning effort on May 4 against the Los Angeles Angels.

"Millwood didn't have command of his stuff," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He threw it in the strike zone and they hit it. He couldn't get the breaking stuff over. The Royals made him work in the second and third innings."

Millwood was 3-1 with a 2.51 ERA in his previous four July starts.

David Riske and Zack Greinke each tossed a scoreless frame to bridge the gap from Perez to closer Octavio Dotel, who worked around some trouble in the ninth to post his 11th save in 14 chances.

After striking out Gerald Laird to open the final inning in which Kansas City led, 6-3, the righthander walked Brad Wilkerson before surrendering Nelson Cruz's second two-run homer - and fifth RBI - of the contest.

"I don't know what he hit off Dotel, but he put his hands back on it and hit it hard," Washington said. "He hit well tonight."

"I have a new stance that helps me see better on inside pitches," Cruz said. "The first home run was off a cutter, the last one was a fastball."

Pinch hitter Frank Catalanotto followed with a double, but Dotel settled down to strike out pinch hitter Ramon Vazquez and force Michael Young to line out to right.

"Closers, when they were born, I guess the Lord said, 'You're going to make people nervous when you close games,'" Bell said of Dotel's outing. "That's kind of the way it is."

Young had three hits - including a double - for the Rangers, who lost for the second straight game after four consecutive victories.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 5 9 0
    KANSAS CITY 0 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 x 6 13 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TEX - KEVIN MILLWOOD, WILLIE EYRE (3RD), JOHN RHEINECKER (6TH),
    FRANK FRANCISCO (8TH), C.J. WILSON (8TH) AND GERALD LAIRD
    KAN - ODALIS PEREZ, DAVID RISKE (7TH), ZAC

    Jul 28 10:11 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY NELSON CRUZ (5) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF OCTAVIO DOTEL SCORED BRAD WILKERSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 5, KANSAS CITY 6
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: T METCALF (.237, 0-FOR-3)

    Rangers vs. RoyalsJul 28 10:03 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Rangers vs. RoyalsJul 28 10:03 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY NELSON CRUZ SCORED GERALD LAIRD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3
    KANSAS CITY 6 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: T METCALF (.242, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. RoyalsJul 28 8:33 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID DEJESUS SCORED TONY PENA JR.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, D DEJESUS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    KANSAS CITY 6 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M GRUDZIELANEK (.307, 0-FOR-1, HBP, RBI)

    Rangers vs. RoyalsJul 28 8:25 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TONY PENA JR SCORED ALEX GORDON AND EMIL BROWN.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, T PENA JR ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    KANSAS CITY 5 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: D DEJESUS (.278, 0-FOR-0, BB, HBP)

    Rangers vs. RoyalsJul 28 8:22 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOHN BUCK SCORED ROSS GLOAD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BUCK ON FIRST, E BROWN ON SECOND, A GORDON
    ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    KANSAS CITY 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: T PENA JR (.283, 1-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. RoyalsJul 28 8:20 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    MARK GRUDZIELANEK HIT BY KEVIN MILLWOOD PITCH WITH BASES
    LOADED SCORED JOHN BUCK.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M GRUDZIELANEK ON FIRST, D DEJESUS ON
    SECOND, T PENA JR ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    KANSAS CITY 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M TEAHEN (.282, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. RoyalsJul 28 7:57 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOHN BUCK SCORED EMIL BROWN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BUCK ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    KANSAS CITY 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: T PENA JR (.281, 1 HR, 33 RBI)

    Rangers vs. RoyalsJul 28 7:50 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY NELSON CRUZ (4) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF ODALIS PEREZ SCORED BRAD WILKERSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2, KANSAS CITY 0
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: T METCALF (.245, 1 HR, 6 RBI)

    Rangers vs. RoyalsJul 28 7:37 PM