for this game

Laird's homer powers Rangers past Royals

Aug 15, 2007 - 4:48 AM By Randy Krone PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) - Gerald Laird doesn't want his playing time reduced.

Laird capped a four-run sixth inning with a home run and Kevin Millwood pitched seven effective innings to lift the Texas Rangers to a 5-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series.

Earlier on this current homestand, Laird was told by manager Ron Washington that his playing time would be reduced as the Rangers take a look at newly acquired catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who came over from the Atlanta Braves in the Mark Teixeira trade.

"I didn't do it to try to wake Gerald up," Washington said. "I've just got a 22-year-old who's a pretty good catcher that I need to take a look at before spring training next year. Gerald is the veteran in this situation and when we've challenged people, they've stepped up. And he's stepping up here."

The 27-year-old Laird tried to make Washington question his decision in the sixth inning by blasting a three-run shot off Royals reliever David Riske to give the Royals a 5-3 advantage.

"I don't know if it's challenging," Laird said. "We've got a talented young guy like Salty coming up and I've got to play my best at every opportunity."

Royals starter Kyle Davies (5-9) cruised through the first five innings, allowing just one run and five hits, but failed to record an out in the sixth.

Marlon Byrd led off the inning with a double to left-center and Jason Botts followed with a base hit. Nelson Cruz then delivered a single to right field, which scored Byrd and chased Davies from the game.

Riske entered and failed to get the Royals out of trouble. Laird sent Riske's 1-0 offering over the left field wall for his seventh home run of the year and first since July 19.

After Billy Butler's RBI single in the first inning, Millwood (8-9) retired 14 of the next 15 batters and did not surrender another hit until Mark Grudzielanek's single in the sixth.

"Millwood was very good tonight," Washington said. "He slowed down his tempo and hit his spots all night."

Millwood registered his first victory since July 23. The 11-year veteran held the Royals to three runs and four hits with nine strikeouts and one walk. The nine strikeouts were Millwood's most since he struck out 10 against Cincinnati on June 17.

"I made some adjustments before my last start and have been pitching from the first base side of the rubber," Millwood said. "I feel like I'm locating the ball better and it's definitely helping my breaking ball. It feels like it's freed my arm up and I was able to keep them off-balance tonight."

After Joaquin Benoit pitched two-thirds of an inning, C.J. Wilson tossed the final 1 1/3 innings to pick up his fifth save of the season.

Michael Young hit a solo home run to right field to lead off the bottom of the fourth and tie the game at 1-1. It was Young's third homer in his last seven games after going homerless in his previous 77 games.

"It got us on the board," Young said. "Their starter was throwing well so it was nice to get something started and just let Millwood do the rest."

The Royals' offense was the beneficiary of two sixth-inning errors by Rangers first baseman Saltalamacchia, which broke a 1-1 tie.

With two out and two on, Ross Gload hit a grounder down the right field line that Saltalamacchia misplayed. As Grudzielanek rounded third, Saltalamacchia's throw home was off-line, sailing past Laird and allowing both Grudzielanek and Butler to score for a 3-1 lead.

Davies hurled five-plus innings, yielding four runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts.

"They started sitting on my pitches and were able to hit a couple," Davies said. "It's frustrating, I elevated some pitches but I thought I pitched pretty good until the sixth, then things snowballed."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    KANSAS CITY 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 4 0
    TEXAS 0 0 0 1 0 4 0 0 x 5 10 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: KAN - KYLE DAVIES, DAVID RISKE (6TH), JOHN BALE (8TH) AND JASON
    LARUE
    TEX - KEVIN MILLWOOD, JOAQUIN BENOIT (8TH), C.J. WILSON
    (8TH) AND GERALD LAIRD

    HOME RUNS: K

    Aug 14 11:30 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Cardinal984 Added 5 roots

    Royals vs. RangersAug 14 11:27 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY GERALD LAIRD (7) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF DAVID RISKE SCORED JASON BOTTS AND NELSON CRUZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 3, TEXAS 5
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: J SALTALAMACCHIA (.174, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. RangersAug 14 10:32 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NELSON CRUZ SCORED MARLON BYRD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N CRUZ ON FIRST, J BOTTS ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 3
    TEXAS 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G LAIRD (.234, 1-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. RangersAug 14 10:28 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA ALLOWED MARK GRUDZIELANEK
    AND BILLY BUTLER TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R GLOAD ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 3
    TEXAS 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: A GORDON (.243, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. RangersAug 14 10:18 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MICHAEL YOUNG (7) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF KYLE DAVIES.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 1, TEXAS 1
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M BYRD (.315, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals vs. RangersAug 14 9:34 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: KAN - KYLE DAVIES
    TEX - KEVIN MILLWOOD

    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: F CATALANOTTO (.251, 8 HR, 34 RBI)
    I KINSLER (.252, 14 HR, 41 RBI)
    M YOUNG (.305, 6 HR,

    Royals vs. RangersAug 14 8:43 PM