Royals

Jeremy Guthrie, Eric Hosmer lead Royals to 6-3 victory over Rangers

Eric Hosmer hit a two-run homer during the sixth inning of the Royals’ 6-3 victory Thursday at Texas.
Eric Hosmer hit a two-run homer during the sixth inning of the Royals’ 6-3 victory Thursday at Texas. The Associated Press

Outside the Royals’ clubhouse, less than an hour after their 6-3 victory over the Rangers, stadium attendants shuttled equipment bags and luggage into a white moving truck. Inside the room, players slipped into shirts and ties, ready to come back to Kauffman Stadium owning a better record than the one they departed with.

The past week tested the resiliency of this club. That skill is a virtue in the 162-game marathon, where rain and injuries and travel tire the body and dull the mind.

For the Royals (22-13), the euphoria of the season’s first week has receded. The adrenaline aroused by the brawls of April has faded. They went 4-3 on their last homestand. They went 4-3 on this road trip. They are treading water, still in first place in the American League Central, and that beats drowning.

“We could be playing better,” first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “But at the same time, we’re bouncing back from tough losses. You never want to lose a four-game series, especially coming in here. It was a tough road trip for us.”

Hosmer led the offensive charge on Thursday. He bashed a two-run shot in the sixth inning to pad his club’s cushion. Alcides Escobar notched three hits, scored two runs and knocked in a pair with a critical single in the fourth.

Jeremy Guthrie delivered five useful innings. The Rangers touched him for two runs, both in his final frame. Manager Ned Yost elected to open up his bullpen for the last 12 outs. Luke Hochevar was charged with a run in the seventh, but otherwise the relievers rolled.

“This was a big win for us, to come in here and split with these guys,” Yost said.

Energy was not an issue on Thursday. Hours before the game, salsa music boomed from a set of speakers inside Kendrys Morales’ locker. Morales had somehow acquired a bullhorn that featured an air-raid signal. The whoops pierced through the room, and first-base coach Rusty Kuntz pointed to the coaches’ locker room, where Guthrie huddled behind a closed door with catcher Drew Butera and pitching coach Dave Eiland.

“That’s why that door shuts,” Kuntz said.

After a pair of rocky outings from Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura, Guthrie attacked the Rangers by pitching inside and keeping the baseball down in the zone. Up three runs in the fifth, he yielded three consecutive singles. Texas scored its first run on a fielder’s choice by Shin-Soo Choo and its second on a single to center field by Prince Fielder.

Jarrod Dyson slid to grab Fielder’s hit but could not make the catch. With Adrian Beltre at the plate, the tying run stood at third base. Beltre hooked a 2-2 fastball down the left-field corner, just wide of the foul post. Guthrie responded with a fastball, this one down and away, to force an inning-ending groundout.

“I kind of dropped down a little bit, tried to get a different arm angle,” Guthrie said. “To see if I could get something different to happen.”

On Thursday, for the only time in this four-game series, the Royals struck first. They patched together a run after a pair of singles by Escobar and Hosmer off Rangers lefty Ross Detwiler. Morales filled the bases with a walk. Alex Gordon beat out a potential double-play grounder to plate Escobar.

Escobar keyed another rally in the fourth. Omar Infante flared a leadoff single. Paulo Orlando snapped an 0-for-10 skid with a bunt single. Detwiler hit Jarrod Dyson with a pitch to load the bases.

Escobar does not always practice patience as a leadoff hitter. But he waited until the count was 3-1 before punching a Detwiler fastball into right for two runs.

“I feel comfortable right now,” Escobar said. “I feel like I can see the ball good. I’m looking for really good pitches so I can swing the bat.”

After Guthrie escape, Hosmer went deep. He punished reliever Sam Freeman for a fastball at the waist. It was Hosmer’s seventh home run of the season, which served as a reminder for how he has bounced back from last year’s unfortunate regular season.

Hosmer managed only nine home runs in 2014. He hit his seventh on Sept. 12. A reporter asked if Hosmer could recall when he reached this milestone.

“I don’t even want to know,” he said. “C’mon, man. Don’t kill my vibe!”

Hosmer spun away from the interview, laughing into the shower. The Royals are not rolling. They are not reeling. Day by day, they build a case for a return to October. It does not always look pretty, but it is hard to argue with the results.

“We’re not playing our best ball, yet,” Hosmer said. “But we’re still doing well.”

Royals 6, Rangers 3

Kansas CityAB

R

H

BI

W

K

Avg.

A.Escobar ss

5

2

3

3

0

0

.318

Moustakas 3b

5

0

1

0

0

1

.315

Hosmer 1b

5

1

3

2

0

0

.333

K.Morales dh

4

0

2

0

1

1

.303

A.Gordon lf

5

0

0

1

0

1

.277

Infante 2b

5

1

2

0

0

0

.236

Orlando rf

4

1

1

0

0

1

.230

Butera c

3

1

2

0

0

0

.222

J.Dyson cf

2

0

0

0

0

1

.196

Totals38

6

14

6

1

5

 

TexasAB

R

H

BI

W

K

Avg.

Choo rf

4

0

3

0

1

0

.243

Andrus ss

3

0

0

1

0

0

.223

Fielder dh

2

0

1

1

0

0

.348

Beltre 3b

4

0

0

0

0

0

.243

Moreland 1b

4

0

0

0

0

0

.302

Peguero lf

4

0

0

0

0

2

.188

Field 2b

4

1

1

0

0

0

.267

Corporan c

4

1

1

0

0

1

.196

DeShields cf

2

1

1

1

2

0

.293

Totals31

3

7

3

3

3

 

Kansas City

100

203

000

6

14

0

Texas

000

020

100

3

7

1

E: Corporan (1). LOB: Kansas City 9, Texas 8. 2B: K.Morales (13), Infante (10), Butera (1). HR: Hosmer (7), off S.Freeman. RBIs: A.Escobar 3 (14), Hosmer 2 (29), A.Gordon (18), Andrus (9), Fielder (20), DeShields (8). CS: A.Escobar (2). S: Butera, J.Dyson, Andrus. SF: Andrus.

Runners left in scoring position: Kansas City 6 (Infante 2, A.Gordon, Moustakas, Orlando 2); Texas 4 (Moreland, Peguero, Beltre, Andrus). RISP: Kansas City 3 for 12; Texas 2 for 9. Runners moved up: A.Gordon. DP: Kansas City 1 (Infante, Hosmer).

Kansas City

IP

H

R

ER

W

K

NP

ERA

Guthrie W, 3-2

5

6

2

2

0

1

94

5.44

Madson

1

0

0

0

0

1

7

1.45

Hochevar

0.1

1

1

1

1

1

20

6.00

Herrera

0.2

0

0

0

0

0

4

1.93

W.Davis

1

0

0

0

0

0

13

0.00

Holland S, 7

1

0

0

0

2

0

18

0.90

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

W

K

NP

ERA

Detwiler L, 0-5

5

9

3

3

1

3

108

6.95

Bass

0.1

2

2

2

0

0

5

4.18

Freeman

1.2

1

1

1

0

1

22

5.40

Fujikawa

1

0

0

0

0

0

9

0.00

Claudio

1

2

0

0

0

1

27

4.50

Inherited runners-scored: K.Herrera 2-1, S.Freeman 1-1. HBP: by Guthrie (Fielder, Fielder), by Detwiler (J.Dyson). WP:Guthrie. PB: Corporan. Hold: Davis (3), Herrera (5).

Umpires: Home, Chris Conroy; First, Angel Hernandez; Second, Scott Barry; Third, Ted Barrett. Time: 3:11. Att: 33,818.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4730 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @McCulloughStar. Download True Blue, The Star’s free Royals app, here.

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