KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Texas Rangers had two golden opportunities to score the go-ahead run in regulation, but poor base-running and lack of execution cost them.
They had another opportunity in the 10th with a runner on third and less than two outs, but came away empty-handed.
Missed opportunities by the Rangers paved the way for a walk-off victory by the Royals. The Rangers committed two errors in the 10th, and Kansas City avoided a series sweep with a 7-6 victory over Texas on Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.
The Rangers maintained a 5 1/2-game lead on the Athletics, who lost to the Blue Jays, and a six-game lead on the Angels, who fell to the White Sox.
"It was a weird game," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "There were a lot of situations and chances to win the game and we didn't capitalize. But we won the series and that's what matters right now."
Andrus found himself in the middle of those pivotal situations.
The Rangers trailed 6-5 going into the seventh, but had a rally going when Mike Olt drew a walk and Andrus singled. Michael Young then doubled to right to bring in Olt and Andrus tried to score on the play, ignoring third-base coach Dave Anderson's stop sign. He was thrown out at the plate easily and also hurt his right shoulder on the slide.
Andrus said he saw the stop sign but wanted to be aggressive in that situation.
With no outs in the ninth, Andrus came up with the go-ahead run, Olt, at third. Manager Ron Washington put the suicide squeeze bunt on and Olt broke for home. Andrus, though, didn't make contact with Greg Holland's slider down and away, and Olt ran into an easy out for the Royals.
"It was a tough pitch," said Andrus, who left the game in the bottom of the ninth with right shoulder soreness that isn't considered serious.
"I did everything possible to make it happen, but it wasn't a nice pitch to bunt."
Said manager Ron Washington: "I know it was a bad pitch, but it's the squeeze. You get to that ball any way you can."
The Rangers had another chance in the 10th with the bases loaded and one out. Mitch Moreland smoked a ball, but was robbed of a base hit on a diving catch by Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. Olt then struck out to end the inning.
"I felt like I was on the ball pretty good and hit it hard," Moreland said. "He made an unbelievable play on that ball."
The Royals went on to take advantage of two errors by the Rangers in the 10th.
Michael Kirkman issued a leadoff walk to Billy Butler, who was replaced by pinch runner Eric Hosmer. Hosmer moved to second when Alberto Gonzalez booted a grounder by Salvador Perez and scored on an errant throw by Olt on a chopper by Jeff Francoeur. Olt went to second to keep the double play in order, but his throw sailed wide and into the outfield.
"Nice, easy play right to me and the ball just got away," Olt said. "It's a play I make 99 out of 100 times."
Olt wasn't the only one disappointed in the clubhouse, of course. Derek Holland wasn't too pleased with his start.
The Rangers scored five runs in the fourth to take a 5-2 lead, but Holland gave up runs the next three innings. The Royals took a 6-5 lead in the sixth on a two-run homer by Brayan Pena.
It was the second home run allowed by Holland on the day, and he's given up multiple home runs in his last four starts and six runs in three of his last four.
"In my eyes, I didn't give my team a chance to win," said Holland, whose ERA rose to 5.18. "It's pathetic. I'm very upset with myself."
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760