Rangers claw back to dispatch Royals in 10th

Rangers claw back to dispatch Royals in 10th

Rangers claw back to dispatch Royals in 10th
KANSAS CITY -- Rangers starter Scott Feldman did not officially break his losing streak on Thursday night. But the Rangers were still able to come away with a victory, and that was enough to put a smile on his face in the clubhouse afterward.

"It's a lot more fun when the team wins," Feldman said after the Rangers pulled out a 5-4 victory in 10 innings over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Feldman left the game with a 4-3 lead, but the Royals tied it in the bottom of the seventh on Eric Hosmer's home run off reliever Michael Kirkman. But Tanner Scheppers and Mike Adams were able to keep it tied until the 10th, when the Rangers went back ahead on a triple by Ian Kinsler and a single by Michael Young.

"A tough win ... a big victory," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Feldman pitched extremely well. He gave us a chance. I just wanted us to keep getting at-bats. I felt if we could keep getting at-bats, we'd push a run across. And we did."

Kinsler delivered the first big hit with a long drive to deep left-center against Royals closer Greg Holland. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain just missed making a leaping catch as the ball hit off the top of the wall.

"I thought he was going to catching it and I lost some steam going around first base," Kinsler said. "Then I saw it bounce away, I was rounding second and decided to go for third."

"I thought I was going to catch it at the wall, but the wind just kept pushing it," Cain said. That brought up Young and, with the infield playing in, he lined a single to center to put the Rangers ahead.

"I was trying to use the middle of the field ... be short and quick and get something up in the zone," Young said. "I wanted to hit a line drive or higher. The last thing you want to do there is hit a ground ball."

Joe Nathan finished the game for his 30th save and the win left the Rangers with a 5 1/2-game lead over the A's in the American League West. The Angels are eight back as Texas opens a three-game series against the Rays on Friday night at Tropicana Field. The Rangers are 5-2 on their current road trip after taking three of four from the Royals.

"Winning three out of four is good anytime you go on the road, especially at this time of the year," Young said. "We're really happy with that. We played really well here, so did they. They really challenged us, so to come out of here with three out of four is good."

The Rangers also earned their 82nd victory, guaranteeing them a winning season for the fourth straight year. The Rangers have bigger goals in mind, but this is the first time in club history they have had four straight winning seasons. The Royals haven't had one since 2003.

We gave it our best shot," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I felt like we competed well against them. They're a very good team and it shows us that we can compete with 'em. At least I think they feel like they had their hands full for four days, and I think they're glad they're getting out of town. But they're getting out of town three-and-one."

Feldman trailed 3-0 after three innings, giving up a home run to Jeff Francoeur in the second and two more runs in the third. But the Rangers' two biggest bats bailed him out in the top of the fourth.

Royals starter Luke Hochevar retired the first 10 batters he faced before Young grounded a single through the left side. Josh Hamilton then jumped on an 0-1 curve and hit it over the right-field wall for a two-run home run. Hamilton has 39 home runs, the most in the Major Leagues, and his 116 RBIs are tied for the most with the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera.

Adrian Beltre followed with a home run to center, his 30th of the season. It was the ninth time that the Rangers have hit back-to-back home runs this season, including the fourth time that Hamilton and Beltre did it together

"That's awesome," Feldman said. "You never want to dig yourself in a hole, but as long as you can limit the damage, we're capable of scoring quick. We did that tonight."

Feldman responded by setting the Royals down in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. The Rangers rewarded him by taking the lead in the seventh when David Murphy singled and scored on a double by Geovany Soto.

Feldman started the bottom of the seventh by getting Jeff Francoeur on a grounder to short. At that point, Feldman had thrown 97 pitches and Washington decided to lift him. Washington wanted Kirkman for a lefty vs. lefty matchup against Hosmer.

The numbers suggested a favorable matchup for the Rangers. Hosmer entered the game hitting .224 with two home runs against left-handed pitchers. Kirkman had held left-handed hitters to a .175 average this season and they had never hit a home run off him in his career.

But Hosmer did just that. Kirkman fell behind 3-1 in the count and then threw a sinker that Hosmer hit over the left-field wall to tie the game.

"I wanted the lefty vs. lefty," Washington said. "I thought his breaking ball would do a good job against Hosmer. It's one move that didn't work, so you move on."

The Rangers did just that.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.