• Turning point: With the game tied at 6, the Rangers executed a double-steal with Kinsler on second and Michael Young on first. Kinsler scored when catcher Jason LaRue threw wildly past third base.
• Unsung heroes: Brad Wilkerson and Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered to key a five-run first inning for the Rangers.
• Did you see that? Texas' David Murphy played all three outfield spots, starting in center field and then moving to right field and left field for defensive purposes later in the game.
-- ESPN.com news services
Rangers 9, Royals 8
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Ian Kinsler was caught stealing two
innings earlier, but that didn't change his approach on the front
end of a double-steal in the seventh.
Kinsler had three hits and two RBIs for Texas, which won for the
eighth time in the last 10 games.
With the game tied at 6, the Rangers executed the double-steal
with Kinsler on second and Michael Young on first. Kinsler scored
when catcher Jason LaRue threw wildly past third baseman Alex Gordon for an error.
"You can't be scared of getting thrown out," said Kinsler, who
had 17 straight successful steals before he was caught on
consecutive attempts. "I felt I could make it. You're not going to
steal a base if you don't try."
Royals manager Buddy Bell said his team made several mistakes on
"First, a good throw and [Kinsler] is out," Bell said.
"Second, we can't allow the ball to go into left field. Third,
we've got to pay more attention to the runner. So you can't blame
just one guy."
Botts started the night in a 4-for-32 slide that sent his
average to .202.
"He needed a game like this," Rangers manager Ron Washington
said. "Tonight he showed some bat speed. It's good for his
Mark Grudzielanek's eighth-inning RBI single off
Frank Francisco pulled the Royals within one, but Joaquin Benoit got Ross Gload to
ground into an inning-ending double play with the tying run on
Marlon Byrd's sacrifice fly in the eighth extended Texas' lead
"That run we gave up there in the eighth, that was the toughest
one of the night," Bell said.
Billy Buckner, making his first major league start, had a wobbly
first inning when he walked Frank Catalanotto leading off. Kinsler
followed with an RBI double, extending his hitting streak to 10
Botts' double knocked in Kinsler, then Wilkerson's drive just
cleared the left field wall for his 20th homer, a two-run shot for
a 4-1 lead. One batter later, Saltalamacchia belted his sixth homer
for the Rangers and 10th of the season.
Kinsler's RBI single in the second extended the Texas advantage
The Royals rallied with three runs in the fourth and two in the
fifth against Rangers starter Kevin Millwood.
Smith's three-run blast in the fourth, his fifth of the season,
made it 6-4. In the fifth, Mark Teahen's RBI single and Smith's
sacrifice fly tied it at 6.
Millwood gave up six runs and eight hits in five innings,
striking out seven and walking three.
In four innings, Buckner allowed six runs and seven hits, struck
out two and walked three.
Kinsler is 21-for-41 (.512) with three homers and 10 RBIs
during his 10-game hitting streak. ... Smith has hit 15 of his 16
career homers on the road. He's had four RBIs in his career three
times, twice this season. ... Wilkerson reached 20 homers for the
third time in his career. ... The crowd of 18,892 was the smallest
at home for the Rangers this season. ... Texas' David Murphy played
all three outfield spots, starting in CF and then moving to RF and
LF for defensive purposes later in the game. ... David DeJesus was
hit by a pitch in the seventh, the 18th HBP for the Royals this
season, tying a club record. ... Gload stumbled over first base
while running out the eighth-inning double play and left the game
with a hyperextended knee.