Wednesday, September 03, 2014
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Middle relievers lead Royals to win over Rangers

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[September 03, 2014]  KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Manager Ned Yost knew closer Greg Holland and setup men Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera were unavailable Tuesday night after the trio had pitched in each of the Kansas City Royals' previous three games.

Yost summoned Francisley Bueno, Jason Frasor and Aaron Crow out of his bullpen the final two innings, and the stand-ins got the job done, leading the Royals to a 2-1 victory over the Texas Rangers.

Frasor (4-1) improved to 3-0 since the Royals acquired him in a July trade with Texas.

Crow pitched a scoreless ninth inning to log his third save in five opportunities. He gave up a two-out single to right fielder Rougned Odor, but he struck out pinch hitter Luis Sardinas to end the game.

"We've got full confidence in the other guys," Yost said. "Phenomenal job by Crow. I knew if we got to the ninth with the lead, it would be Aaron. He's done it before."

Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez's two-out, eighth-inning single scored center fielder Jarrod Dyson with the go-ahead run.

"I was just trying to do something to help the team there," Perez said.

The victory allowed the Royals (76-61) to remain a half-game ahead of the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central standings.

Perez's infield liner off the glove of third baseman Adrian Beltre brought home Dyson, who reached on a fielder's choice and stole second and third.

"You know Dice is going to steal second and steal third and we're going to be good position," Yost said. "If he doesn't steal third there, that ball Salvy absolutely smoked and Beltre gets a glove on, Dice doesn't score (from second) on that play. So that was a huge play."

Rangers left-hander Derek Holland, making his 2014 debut after recovering from left knee surgery performed in January, came out throwing 93-94 mph. He limited the Royals to one run on six hits over seven innings. He struck out six without issuing a walk.

"To be honest with you, you couldn't ask for a better start to go against a contending team," Holland said. "That's a really good club over there. My job was to try to shut them down. I'm happy with what I did.

"It's my first game back. It's in the big leagues, a big-time atmosphere especially with a playoff team over here. I wanted to make sure I stayed calm and collected. I've been there before. I know how to handle that. I felt I did a good job of that. I'm just trying to finish strong. I worked my tail off to get here. I've got to continue to keep doing that. It's not over yet -- finish strong."

The Rangers (53-85) own the worst record in the majors, but the return of a healthy Holland, a 16-game winner in 2011, was a good sign.

"It was great news to see Derek out there performing," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was fantastic. We've seen him that good before. It's good in his first time back, and he showed what we have to look forward to. We've seen him that good. It's nice to see him like that his first time back."

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Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie limited the Rangers to a run on eight hits over seven innings.

Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar opened the third with a ground-rule double to left-center. Rookie third baseman Christian Colon bunted him to third. Right fielder Nori Aoki lined a double to left that Ryan Rua nearly caught on a diving attempt, but the ball got past him and Escobar scored.

The Rangers tied the game in the fifth. Odor led off with a triple to left-center and scored on right fielder Daniel Robertson's grounder to Escobar.

Texas grounded into double plays in the third and fourth innings.

"Just a big win for us," Dyson said. "We had to have it."

The Royals, however, received some bad news. Third baseman Christian Colon fractured his right middle finger and is likely out for the remainder of the season.

NOTES: Texas 3B Adrian Beltre singled in the fourth inning to extend his hitting streak to 19 games against the Royals. ... The Rangers recalled RHP Lisalverto Bonilla, RHP Nick Tepesch and INF Luis Sardinas from Triple-A Round Rock and purchased the contract of LHP Michael Kirkman from the same club. Tepesch, who went to Blue Springs High, a Kansas City suburb, and the University of Missouri, will start Thursday against the Royals. The Rangers also transferred RHP Tanner Scheppers from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. ... The Royals added four players to their roster: OF Terrance Gore, RHP Aaron Crow, RHP Liam Hendriks and 3B Christian Colon. All but Gore, who began the season with high Class A Wilmington, appeared with Kansas City earlier this season.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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