Lee Hammered In 10-9 Loss To Kansas City

Cliff Lee looks to return to his dominant ways tonight as the Rangers take on the Royals in Kansas City.

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Wild Pitch Dooms Rangers, Lose To Royals 10-9

(Sports Network) – Pinch-runner Willie Bloomquist scored the game-winning run on Alexi Ogando’s wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth, as the Kansas City Royals snuck past the Texas Rangers, 10-9, in the second test of a three-game series from Kauffman Stadium.

Darren Oliver (1-2) started the bottom of the ninth on the mound with the score tied at nine. Wilson Betemit led off with a double and was replaced by Bloomquist. Kila Ka’aihue struck out and Brayan Pena walked before Bloomquist stole third. After Alex Gordon struck out, Ogando came in from the bullpen to offer up the wild pitch.

Gordon drove in three runs for the Royals, who bounced back from a 3-0 loss in the opener of this series. Jai Miller hit a two-run double for the victors.

Starter Sean O’Sullivan struggled through five innings, allowing six runs on nine hits. Joakim Soria (1-2) tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up the win.

Michael Young finished a triple shy of the cycle, drove in two runs, and scored twice for the Rangers, who have lost three of four. Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run homer and knocked in a total of three runs. David Murphy and Mitch Moreland also homered.

Cliff Lee got rocked in 4 2/3 frames, giving up seven runs — four earned — on 10 hits. The 2008 AL Cy Young Award recipient is 0-3 over his last five starts.

Young got the scoring started with a solo homer to left-center field in the first. Yuniesky Betancourt hit a homer of his own in the second to tie the game.

Texas scored a run in the top of the third to take a 2-1 lead. With runners on second and third and one out, Guerrero knocked in a run when he grounded out.

Kansas City responded with three runs in the home third to go in front. Gregor Blanco singled and Mike Aviles reached base on Lee’s throwing error. Billy Butler followed with an RBI single. Runners were on the corners after Betemit grounded into a fielder’s choice, and Ka’aihue plated a run when he grounded into a fielder’s choice. Pena and Gordon hit consecutive singles to plate another run for a 4-2 edge.

Murphy led off the fourth with a solo homer to make it a one-run game.

Texas scored three times in the top of the fifth to go back in front. Josh Hamilton hit an RBI single and crossed the plate on Guerrero’s homer to left- center for a 6-4 lead.

The Royals plated five runs in the bottom of the fifth for yet another lead change. With runners on first and second and two outs, Gordon hit a two-run double. Matt Harrison came in from the bullpen and walked Betancourt. Miller followed with a two-run double. Blanco reached first on Harrison’s fielding error before Aviles hit an RBI single to give Kansas City a 9-6 advantage.

The Rangers tied the game with a three-spot in the sixth. Moreland hit a solo homer off Jesse Chavez to get things started. Elvis Andrus, Young, and Hamilton hit three consecutive doubles to plate a pair of runs.

Game Notes

The Rangers have prevailed in nine of their last 13 games played against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Texas leads the season series with Kansas City, 6-2…The Rangers had 16 hits, compared to 13 for the Royals.

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Cliff Lee Looks To Bounce Back Against Royals

(Sports Network) -- The Texas Rangers continue to hold a comfortable lead atop the American League's West Division even without a significant contribution from midseason pickup Cliff Lee. The struggling pitcher will attempt to break out of his current funk when he takes the mound for tonight's clash with the Kansas City Royals from Kauffman Stadium.

While the Rangers have been able to extend their advantage over second-place Oakland in the AL West since acquiring Lee from Seattle on July 9, the All- Star left-hander has hardly done his part. In 10 outings following the swap, Lee is just 2-5 with a mediocre 4.50 earned run average and enters this evening's tilt seeking to stop a three-start losing streak.

Lee has been hit hard in all three of those defeats, including a forgettable 5 2/3-inning stint at Baltimore on August 21 in which he was pounded for eight runs and served up four homers. He was only marginally better in his last start, surrendering five runs through five frames in a home loss to Minnesota this past Thursday.

The 2008 AL Cy Young Award recipient, who went 8-3 with an excellent 2.34 ERA in 13 starts with the Mariners prior to the trade, will try to bounce back when he takes on a Kansas City team he's 12-5 lifetime against with a 4.28 ERA in 22 overall meetings. Lee has had good success pitching at Kauffman Stadium in the past, having amassed a 7-2 record with a 3.83 ERA over 13 career visits.

Texas would love to receive a performance out of Lee like the one teammate C.J. Wilson delivered in last night's opener of this three-game series. The converted reliever held the Royals scoreless over 7 2/3 outstanding innings as the Rangers came through with a 3-0 victory which lengthened their lead in the division to 8 1/2 games.

Wilson (14-5) yielded just a single hit over the game's initial seven frames and two overall in posting his seventh straight winning decision. The left- hander hasn't lost in nine starts since a July 11 setback to Baltimore.

"I don't think we've been held to one hit through eight innings in a long time," said Royals outfielder Willie Bloomquist. "[Wilson] pitched a heck of a game."

Darren O'Day came on to record the final out of the eighth before turning the game over to closer Neftali Feliz, with the rookie standout tossing a shutout ninth to notch his 33rd save of the season.

Bengie Molina and Elvis Andrus each had RBI singles as Texas built a 2-0 edge after five innings, with both players collecting a pair of hits on the night. Andres Blanco went 3-for-4 and finished a home run shy of the cycle to help the Rangers halt a brief two-game skid.

Kyle Davies (6-9) pitched well for the Royals but was outdueled by Wilson, with the right-hander working 8 1/3 innings and limiting the Rangers to three runs -- two earned -- while striking out six.

Kansas City has now lost three of its last four contests and six of seven meetings with Texas so far this season. With Monday's result, the Rangers have prevailed in nine of their last 12 games played against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals will attempt to reverse that trend behind Sean O'Sullivan, with the young right-hander vying to build off an encouraging last start. The former Angel pitched a season-best seven innings at Detroit on Wednesday and allowed just three runs on seven hits, although he wound up without a decision in his team's 4-3 win.

O'Sullivan had been acquired from the Angels in late July as part of a trade that sent infielder Alberto Callaspo to Anaheim, but didn't get off to a good beginning with his new club. He went 0-4 with a 6.75 ERA in his first five starts with the Royals before being briefly sent to the bullpen, where he picked up a win against the Chicago White Sox on August 22 with a scoreless inning of relief.

The 22-year-old has come out victorious in both of his career starts against the Rangers, however, both of which took place while with Anaheim last season. O'Sullivan also turned in 2 1/3 scoreless innings out of the pen in a June 30 encounter with Texas, when he also still a member of the Angels.

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