for this game

Rangers edge Royals in series finale

Sep 6, 2007 - 4:17 AM By John Tranchina PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) - With both teams' starters engaged in a genuine pitchers' duel, the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals waited until the other went to the bullpen to score some runs.

Texas starter Vicente Padilla threw six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, walking two and striking out five to lead the Rangers to a 3-2 victory over Kansas City Wednesday night. Hank Blalock had two hits and two RBI for the Rangers, who have won nine of their last 11 and seven of eight at home.

Three relievers bridged the gap to Joaquin Benoit, who pitched a flawless ninth for his third save of the season, preserving the win for Padilla (5-9).

With both starting pitchers surrendering just five hits midway through the sixth inning, it seemed like a tight, low-scoring game would be the result.

Then each team's offense woke up once the relievers came in.

In each of the first three innings, Kansas City starter Kyle Davies (6-12) gave the Rangers' leadoff batter a free pass, either by walk or by hitting them with a pitch.

In the second, Texas capitalized when Brad Wilkerson, who walked to start the inning, stole second and came around to score on Blalock's double into the right-field corner.

"It's great to have him back," Wilkerson said of Blalock, who was playing just his third game after missing 106 days due to thoracic outlet syndrome. "He's the type of hitter that can drive in a lot of runs and knock the ball out of the ballpark and any time you can put a guy like that in your lineup, righty or lefty on the mound, it's always huge for your team. He came up with two big hits for us tonight and I'm just glad to see him back."

That was the only hit off Davies through the first four innings.

"The object is to get the first batter you face and I didn't do that," Davies said. "But I was able to locate my fastball better and that's some progress."

In the fifth, a single by Frank Catalanotto with one out led to another Texas run. When first baseman Billy Butler couldn't hold on to Davies' pickoff throw, Catalanotto took second and later scored when Michael Young lined a single into center.

Davies, who was 0-2 with a 12.27 ERA in his two previous starts in this ballpark, pitched five innings, giving up just two runs on three hits, while walking four, hitting one and striking out five.

Padilla was even more impressive, not allowing his first hit until Mark Grudzielanek led off the fourth with a single to right. He didn't allow a Royal beyond first base until getting into trouble in the sixth.

After walking David DeJesus, Mark Teahen singled to left with two outs. Padilla then hit Mike Sweeney on the wrist with a pitch, loading the bases, but he recovered by striking out Alex Gordon looking.

"He tried to get inside on Sweeney," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "The umpire said the ball hit off his hand, the first base umpire said he didn't swing, and ended up loading the bases, but he had pitched very well to Gordon all the previous at-bats and he continued to do what he did to him previously, throw the high fastball, get him out front, put him away late inside."

Padilla threw at least six innings for the third straight start, a stretch where he has posted a 2-0 record.

"He did everything working off his fastball," Washington said. "He used his fastball around the zone and opened up the plate for his breaking balls, his changeups. When he uses his fastball and he uses it in the strike zone, in and out, he's very effective."

"He was working well with the fastball ahead of the count," said catcher Gerald Laird. "He mixed in some offspeed pitches. But mostly it was good fastballs. He made pitches when he had to."

Texas added another run in the sixth off reliever John Bale. Wilkerson singled to right, and then took second by tagging up on David Murphy's fly out. When Blalock singled to left field, Wilkerson raced around to score, but only after left fielder Joey Gathright's perfect throw slipped past catcher John Buck at the plate to make it 3-0.

"It was a situation where it was a ball I thought was going to be caught for sure," Wilkerson said of his decision to tag up. "I go back and I get 10 feet off the bag, and see that they're not in good position to make the throw, so I just keep going and take that extra base."

"Every now and then, you've got to play small ball, and Wilky did a great job of tagging up on that ball," said Catalanotto. "That's a big play in the game, and if we can do the little things, we can win the close games, the one-run games."

Buck redeemed himself in the seventh by clubbing a two-run home run to center field off reliever Wes Littleton. It was Buck's 18th home run of the season, but it wasn't enough as the Royals went down in order in the eighth and ninth innings.

"You can't show up for 150 games, you've got to show up for 162," said Kansas City manager Buddy Bell. "If you don't show up for 162, you're going to get hammered. That's what happened to us the last two nights. We had no energy. I don't understand how you can do that and that's my responsibility. You've got to care more than that."








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

    BATTERIES: KAN - KYLE DAVIES, JOHN BALE (6TH), RYAN BRAUN (7TH), JOAKIM SORIA
    (8TH) AND JOHN BUCK
    TEX - VICENTE PADILLA, WES LITTLETON (7TH), BILL WHITE
    (7TH), JAMEY WRIGHT (

    Sep 5 10:48 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Royals vs. RangersSep 5 10:37 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JOHN BUCK (18) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 7TH OFF WES LITTLETON SCORED JOEY GATHRIGHT.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2, TEXAS 3
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: T PENA JR (.257, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. RangersSep 5 10:08 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HANK BLALOCK SCORED BRAD WILKERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H BLALOCK ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 0
    TEXAS 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G LAIRD (.222, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. RangersSep 5 9:55 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MICHAEL YOUNG SCORED FRANK CATALANOTTO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M YOUNG ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 0
    TEXAS 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: J BOTTS (.220, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals vs. RangersSep 5 9:26 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY HANK BLALOCK SCORED BRAD WILKERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H BLALOCK ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 0
    TEXAS 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G LAIRD (.223, 8 HR, 42 RBI)

    Royals vs. RangersSep 5 8:32 PM