for this game

Gordon, Royals rally past Rangers

Jun 12, 2008 - 11:38 PM By Marc Bowman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Alex Gordon hit a first-inning homer and scored the go-ahead run on an eighth-inning sacrifice fly Thursday, leading the Kansas City Royals to a 6-5 victory over the Texas Rangers.

After Alberto Callaspo singled to lead off the eighth, Gordon doubled to put runners at second and third. The Royals forged a 5-5 tie when pinch runner Tony Pena Jr. scored on a wild pitch by Frank Francisco (1-2).

Gordon, who advanced to third on the wild pitch, scored on Jose Guillen's sacrifice fly to make it 6-5.

"We're just happy to get a win," Guillen said. "It's been tough. This team hasn't been real good at moving runners, so I was trying to move the runners. How many times have we gotten runners on base and we don't move them? We get four or five runs, but it's never enough. You can never have enough runs. We'll go five or six good innings and then we stop. We've got to be smarter. We've got to do the little things that will help you win."

Gordon also blasted a two-run homer - his seventh of the season - in the opening frame for the Royals, who salvaged the finale of this three-game series.

"He's getting back to the way he was a few weeks ago," Kansas City manager Trey Hillman said. "He's been a little bit worn down lately. It certainly helps to have that bat in the lineup. You want to keep him in a comfort zone."

"I wasn't going to walk him," Texas starter Eric Hurley said. "(The count) was 3-2. If he beats me, he beats me. He's a good hitter. I got the ball up a little and he hit it out of the ballpark."

Following two days of meltdowns in which they allowed 15 runs in six combined innings, the Royals' bullpen allowed one run but held on.

"It was good to see us come back," Hillman said. "The pen guys had been successful up to this point. It's just good to see us feel like we can come back and finish off a game. We still have to figure out how to execute pitches better than we have, obviously, recently when we've gone through some tough losses."

Ron Mahay (2-0) collected the win by retiring the final two batters of the eighth inning before Joakim Soria pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 16 tries. Soria had been unavailable earlier in the series due to a strained left glute muscle.

"I just tried to focus on doing my job and put my mind on other things," Soria said. "I wasn't thinking about anything else but trying to help my team and do my best. I'm a tense guy and sometimes that's good."

"It does help having Sorie available," Hillman said. "Not only from a health standpoint, but from the fact that he was available today and able to take the ball makes a big difference, I thought. We'll continue to monitor the (glute) problem, but hopefully that tightness, that soreness is over with."

The Rangers had taken a 5-4 lead in top half of the eighth, when Brandon Boggs scored on David Murphy's sacrifice fly.

Rookies played a large role in the contest. In addition to Murphy and Boggs' contribution, Texas' German Duran clubbed a three-run homer to give the Rangers a 3-2 second-inning lead in support of Hurley, who was making his major league debut.

"It was a poor sequence to Duran," Kansas City starter Brian Bannister said. "We were throwing hard pitches to him, and I missed out over the plate. The No. 9 hitters can swing the bat, but mostly, if you don't change speeds and cross them up a little, Kinsler, Young, Hamilton - those guys are going to get you, but you want to have a better sequence against the No. 9 hitter."

Ian Kinsler followed Duran's homer with a solo shot to push Texas' advantage to 4-2.

"He had been trying to throw away at first," Kinsler said. "He threw a slider off the plate and tried to come back in with a fastball but he left it up a little. It's definitely the goal of our offense to respond. It's big for our pitchers, mentally, and especially after they throw up a zero."

Hurley pitched six innings, allowing four runs and six hits while walking none and striking out three.

"I thought I threw the ball well," Hurley said. "In the first inning, I was nitpicking a little. It was a little bit of nerves, maybe, thinking, 'This is the big leagues,' and trying to make perfect pitches. I was trying to get ahead of hitters and get ahead aggressively. I feel pretty good all the way around."

"I thought he was great," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I thought as the game progressed he relaxed a little bit more and he got better as the game progressed. He threw strikes, and I don't think he walked anybody. He put the ball in play, and that's what you want to see. All I wanted him to do is keep us in the game, and he certainly did that."

Royals rookie shortstop Mike Aviles connected for his first career homer - a two-out, two-run shot to tie the game at 4-4 in the fourth inning.

"It was a first-pitch fastball," Aviles said. "I was going up there trying to be aggressive and get one in the gap, thinking that we could score a run and cut it to 4-3. It just so happened to go out. Tying the score was a good thing. Fortunately, things worked out for us today."

Bannister threw a career-high 127 pitches over seven innings, allowing four runs and six hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

"It was a gutsy performance by Banny," Hillman said. "We needed that."

"I really wanted to take the pressure off of the bullpen," Bannister said. "They've been great for most of the year. I wanted to push my limits a little today. It was a tough outing, but we battled through it. It makes it all that much better when you win."






  • 55
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    HombreLogico Added 5 roots

    Rangers 5, Royals 6  FinalJun 12 11:39 PM
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    Rangers 5, Royals 6  FinalJun 12 8:04 PM


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

    BATTERIES: TEX - ERIC HURLEY, JAMEY WRIGHT (7TH), FRANK FRANCISCO (8TH) AND
    JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA
    KAN - BRIAN BANNISTER, RAMON RAMIREZ (8TH), RON MAHAY
    (8TH), JOAKIM SORIA (9

    Jun 12 4:44 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Rangers 5, Royals 6  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 12 4:36 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JOSE GUILLEN SCORED ALEX GORDON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 5
    KANSAS CITY 6 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M TEAHEN (.254, 1-FOR-3)

    Rangers 5, Royals 6  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 12 4:31 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY FRANK FRANCISCO ALLOWED TONY PENA TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A GORDON ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 5
    KANSAS CITY 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J GUILLEN (.283, 1-FOR-3)

    Rangers 5, Royals 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 12 4:30 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY DAVID MURPHY SCORED BRANDON BOGGS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J HAMILTON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 5
    KANSAS CITY 4 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M BYRD (.276, 0-FOR-3)

    Rangers 5, Royals 4  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 12 4:20 PM
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    McTool Added 5 roots

    Rangers 4, Royals 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 12 3:44 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MIKE AVILES (1) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF ERIC HURLEY SCORED JOHN BUCK.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 4, KANSAS CITY 4
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J GATHRIGHT (.241, 1-FOR-1)

    Rangers 4, Royals 4  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 12 3:19 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY IAN KINSLER (9) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF BRIAN BANNISTER.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 4, KANSAS CITY 2
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: B BOGGS (.264, 1-FOR-1)

    Rangers 4, Royals 2  Top 2, 0 OutsJun 12 2:44 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY GERMAN DURAN (3) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 2ND OFF BRIAN BANNISTER SCORED FRANK CATALANOTTO AND JARROD
    SALTALAMACCHIA.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3, KANSAS CITY 2
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: I KINSLER (.310, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers 3, Royals 2  Top 2, 0 OutsJun 12 2:43 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALEX GORDON (7) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 1ST OFF ERIC HURLEY SCORED ALBERTO CALLASPO.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0, KANSAS CITY 2
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J GUILLEN (.282, 11 HR, 49 RBI)

    Rangers 0, Royals 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 12 2:25 PM
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    Rangers vs. RoyalsJun 12 10:18 AM