for this game

Rangers finish off sweep of Royals

Aug 28, 2008 - 4:49 AM By Marc Bowman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- The Texas Rangers took advantage of a dropped pop-up to beat the Kansas City Royals, 3-2, on Wednesday and complete a three-game sweep.

With the game tied at 2-2, Royals starter Brian Bannister dropped Joaquin Arias' two-out pop-up in the seventh inning, allowing Jarrod Saltalamacchia to score from second base.

"That's what we're taught since Little League, to hustle and run the ball out," Saltalamacchia said. "That's the fundamentals of baseball. We were in a tight situation and we needed a big hit. I thought when he hit it that I had to run as hard as I can. Rounding third, I saw him drop it and I thought they might throw me out at home. Then I saw (catcher Miguel) Olivo out there, too, and I knew I had it."

"That pop-up was tough and it should have been caught, but it was kind of an afterthought for me," Bannister said. "I just didn't catch it. ... It should have stuck in the glove and it didn't. It's kind of unexpected."

Chris Davis and Saltalamacchia - who had a pair of doubles among his three hits - hit back-to-back, two-out doubles to tie the contest before Bannister's miscue.

"Give (Bannister) 10 more of them and he won't drop them," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "By the time he picked up the ball, it was too late. You've got to give Salty credit for running and (third-base coach) Matt Walbeck credit for sending him. Salty didn't take it for granted the ball was going to be caught. It worked out well for us."

Rangers rookie Matt Harrison (6-3) tossed 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits. The lefthander, who has won four of his last five starts, walked two and struck out four.

"I saw from the first two games of the series that if you attack this team, good things happen," Harrison said. "I wanted to throw strikes and get ahead of guys. I feel like I made some good pitches and battled them through the game. I knew it was going to be a tight game after the first couple of innings. I wanted to hold them to a couple of runs and give our offense a chance to get going."

Joaquin Benoit struck out David DeJesus - whose .407 average with runners in scoring position ranks second in the American League - with two on and two outs in the seventh to escape a jam. Jamey Wright hurled a scoreless eighth before Frank Francisco struck out two in the ninth to notch his first career save.

"Frankie was putting the ball in the strike zone," Washington said. "He doesn't have to try to trick them until he has to. It was set up perfect. Benoit in the seventh against DeJesus, whom he's had success (against). Jamey in the eighth. And get the ball to Frankie to close."

The sweep was Texas' first of the season and first of a three-game set at Kauffman Stadium. Prior to this series, the Rangers had won just three of their previous 17 contests.

"It was a night of firsts all the way around," Washington said. "It's good getting back on track. Because the weather was cool it gave us some energy."

Bannister (7-14) has lost eight straight decisions, posting an ERA of 7.99 over 11 starts dating to June 23. In this one, the 27-year-old righthander set a career best with eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings while yielding three runs, six hits and one walk.

"I just went back to throwing my cut fastball the way I did last year, and pound the strike zone," Bannister said. "It's not glamorous. Like I said after the last start it doesn't get those high velocities, but it's effective. It's what got me here and I just went back to it after the last start."

"His last three or four starts, with the exception of one, he's gotten back on the right track," Kansas City manager Trey Hillman said. "This one, for me, was by far his best, especially against this offense. I can't explain (the strikeouts). He's just trying to pitch to contact and let the ball do what it's supposed to do once it gets into the hitting zone."

The Royals struck first as Esteban German's third-inning line drive was gloved but not held by right fielder Nelson Cruz, allowing Mark Teahen to score for a 1-0 lead.

Brandon Boggs - who was a late addition to the Texas' lineup after Josh Hamilton was scratched with an abscessed tooth - led off the fourth inning with his eighth homer to tie the game.

"I had a little more notice this time," Boggs said of being told he would start. "I've had a little success against Bannister in the past. He left a cutter up and I was able to put a good swing on it."

The Royals regained the lead the next inning, when DeJesus drilled a two-out RBI single to left.

German and Billy Butler each had two of the seven hits by Kansas City, which has lost three straight and 17 of its last 20.

"Well, a lot of that has to do with lack of production when we should produce," Hillman said. "Third inning, runner on second and nobody out, and we don't get him over. Fourth inning, second and third with nobody out and we don't score a run out of that. So, obviously, the error hurt and the back-to-back doubles off Banny hurt, too, but it shouldn't have been as close as it was, either."








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

    BATTERIES: TEX - MATT HARRISON, JOAQUIN BENOIT (7TH), JAMEY WRIGHT (8TH), FRANK
    FRANCISCO (9TH) AND JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA
    KAN - BRIAN BANNISTER, RAMON RAMIREZ (7TH), KIP WELLS

    Aug 27 10:50 PM
  • 45
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Rangers 3, Royals 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 27 10:04 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY BRIAN BANNISTER ALLOWED JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J ARIAS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3
    KANSAS CITY 2 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: B BOGGS (.233, 1-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Rangers 3, Royals 2  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 27 9:51 PM
  • 10
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 16 roots

    Rangers 3, Royals 2  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 27 9:51 PM
  • 26
    roots
    alamowx Added 5 roots

    Rangers 2, Royals 2  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 27 9:48 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA SCORED CHRIS DAVIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J SALTALAMACCHIA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    KANSAS CITY 2 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: J ARIAS (.367, 0-FOR-3)

    Rangers 2, Royals 2  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 27 9:47 PM
  • 21
    roots
    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Rangers 1, Royals 2  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 27 9:41 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID DEJESUS SCORED ESTEBAN GERMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D DEJESUS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    KANSAS CITY 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J GUILLEN (.251, 1-FOR-2)

    Rangers 1, Royals 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 27 9:26 PM
  • 16
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 16 roots

    Rangers 1, Royals 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 27 9:15 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRANDON BOGGS (8) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF BRIAN BANNISTER.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1, KANSAS CITY 1
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M YOUNG (.289, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers 1, Royals 1  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 27 8:53 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ESTEBAN GERMAN SCORED MARK TEAHEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E GERMAN ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    KANSAS CITY 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M AVILES (.328, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers 0, Royals 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 27 8:46 PM