The Texas Rangers’ sweep attempt was thwarted in the bottom of the ninth as the Royals won 4-3 with a walk-off fly ball that right-fielder Shin-Soo Choo lost in the sun. With two outs and the bases loaded, Lorenzo Cain’s fly ball deflected off Choo’s glove, allowing Alex Gordon to score easily from third base with the game-winner.
How Rangers pitchers fared: The Royals scatched out a run in the first against Yu Darvish. Whit Merrifield led off with an infield single off Darvish’s glove and moved to third on Jorge Bonifacio’s bloop single to right. Merrifield scored on a wild pitch and Bonifacio moved to third on Darvish’s throwing error on a pick-off attempt at second base, but Mike Moustakas flew out to left to end the inning.
A two-out walk to Eric Hosmer in the third burned Darvish. Hosmer scored on Moustakas’ double to right to reclaim a 2-1 Royals’ lead. With the game tied again in the seventh, a two-out single from Drew Butera led to another run. Merrifield’s double to the left-field corner wasn’t picked up cleanly by Nomar Mazara, allowing Butera to score easily to give the Royals a 3-2 lead. Mazara was charged with an error on the play.
Darvish allowed three runs (two earned) in eight hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings. Matt Bush came and after walking Jorge Bonifacio, struck out Lorenzo Cain to end the seventh. Alex Claudio pitched a perfect eighth. Jason Grilli started the ninth and was quickly in trouble with a lead-off bloop single by Alcides Escobar. The bases were loaded with one out after a walk and hit by pitch and Bonifacio at the plate.
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How Rangers hitters fared: Drew Robinson homered in the third to tie it at 1-1. Mike Napoli’s two-out homer in the seventh tied it at 2-2. The Rangers were held to five hits through seven innings, all against Royals’ starter Ian Kennedy, who left after 6 2/3 innings.
Notables: Darvish’s throwing error in the first inning was the first of his career ... Darvish passed Nolan Ryan into fourth place all-time with 940 strikeouts for the Rangers.