KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jeff Francoeur’s RBI single in the 10th inning lifted Kansas City to a 2-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night, snapping the Royals’ five-game losing streak with their seventh walkoff win.
Greg Holland (1-0), called up from Triple-A Omaha hours earlier, pitched 1 1-3 innings for his first major league win.
Melky Cabrera hit a one-out single off Darren Oliver (1-5) in the 10th, his third hit of the night, and sped to third when Eric Hosmer singled into right for his third hit. Cody Eppley then relieved and gave up the game-winner to Francoeur.
Neftali Perez failed for the second night in a row to nail down the win for the Rangers.
He relieved after Derek Holland had thrown eight shutout innings but allowed a leadoff single to Hosmer in the ninth. Hosmer went to second on a single by Francoeur, then Feliz, who blew his first save in 20 opportunities the night before, got the first two outs on fly balls before the runners moved up on a wild pitch.
Mike Aviles, after fouling off five 3-2 pitches, drove in the tying run with an infield single that shortstop Elvis Andrus stopped from going into the outfield, keeping the Royals from scoring the winning run. After Brayan Pena walked, Alcides Escobar grounded meekly to the pitcher, triggering the second extra-inning game in a row.
Holland had one walk and five strikeouts while dueling Luke Hochevar. He gave up only six hits and one run in 8 2-3 innings. Chris Davis, in the game because Michael Young was given his first night off of the year, hit Hochevar’s 2-1 pitch leading off the second for his third home run.
Holland relieved Hochevar with two out in the ninth after Mitch Moreland and Yorvit Torrealba hit two-out singles.
The Royals had at least one baserunner in every inning but the second against Holland, a 24-year-old left-hander. But the Rangers turned two double plays behind him and the Royals had four runners thrown out on the bases.
Texas shortstop Andres Blanco, who had never played in the outfield in the major leagues, went into right field in the bottom of the fourth after Endy Chavez was removed with tightness in his right hamstring.
Blanco bobbled the ball momentarily on his first chance when Francoeur singled into right in the sixth. But he recovered in time to nail Francoeur sliding into second on what would have been a single and an error had he been safe.
Francoeur became the sixth runner the Royals lost on the bases in two games. After getting two pinch runners picked off first base and another thrown out trying to steal on Wednesday night, Cabrera was caught off first base and put out on Thursday and Alex Gordon was thrown out trying to steal second.
Royals demote Dyson, bring up RHP Holland
The Kansas City Royals have brought up right-handed reliever Greg Holland and sent outfielder Jarrod Dyson to Triple-A Omaha.
The move Thursday gives the Royals 13 pitchers.
Manager Ned Yost believes Dyson is the fastest runner in the major leagues and has used him effectively as a late-inning pinch runner. Dyson was 9 for 9 in stolen base attempts before he was picked off first Wednesday night right after Eric Hosmer’s solo home run tied the game 3-3. The Royals eventually lost 5-4.
In 21 2-3 innings with Omaha, Holland was 2-0 with two saves and had a 2.08 ERA. He had 27 strikeouts and 11 walks.