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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.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.