Royals Vs Rangers: Santana, Escobar Come Up Huge In Win


The Kansas City Royals (81-72) are still alive! After finding a way to pull out a 2-1 victory over the Texas Rangers (83-70), the Royals are 2.5 games out of the wild card race with 9 more days to go in the season. Six teams are bunched together, all within 3 games of a postseason berth.

Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

How tough has Ervin Santana been this season? Nails! With  everything on the line, just as has been the case with every game lately, Ervin Santana came out just tough as nails. He went 7.1 innings, allowed just 1 run on five hits and 1 walk. He just wouldn’t let the game get away. In the fifth, Santana loaded the bases with two outs and the game in the balance. He bore down to strike out Elvis Andrus to end the inning.

With the game tied in the 8th, Santana allowed a single. Luke Hochevar replaced him and retired both batters he faced. When the Royals scratched out a run in the bottom of the inning, Greg Holland was there to shut the door in 1-2-3 fashion. Game Over. The Royals are still alive.

At the Plate

It wasn’t a pretty or productive night at the dish for the Royals, but a couple of unexpected heroes stepped forward. Kansas City answered Texas’ only run of the night in the top of the second when reserve outfielder Justin Maxwell came through with a big 2-out double to score Salvador Perez to tie the game.

In the 8th, Billy Butler and Salvador Perez each struck out to start the inning. but Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas each singled, then Moose stole second. David Lough walked to load the bases for the free swinging Alcides Escobar. In his previous 616 plate appearances, Escobar had coaxed just 19 walks, one walk for every 32+ PA. In this situation, with the game and the season on the line, Alcides Escobar walked with the bases loaded, and earned the game winning RBI.

Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain were the only Royals with 2 hits.

This and That

In his post game interview with Fox Sports’ Midwest’s Joel Goldberg, Alcides Escobar mused that it was his best at bat of the season. I can’t disagree. There is no argument that Escobar has had his struggles at the plate this season, but his focus and will during this plate appearance, and his incredible defense in this big game erases a lot of frustration for me about him at times this season. This was huge!

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Co-POG’s today folks. Ervin Santana was huge in this, as he has been all season. And Alcides Escobar walked with the bases loaded to win the game!

Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers

Martin Perez was tough himself. He scattered 7 hits over 5.1 innings but buckled down and allowed just the one run. A couple of double plays helped his cause.

The Rangers have lost 8 or their last 10 games. Let’s hope their cold streak continues for a few more days at least.

Up Next

Jeremy Guthrie (14-11, 4.08 ERA) will take his never-give-up attitude to the mound on Saturday. He will match up against Matt Garza (9-6, 4.06 ERA) at 6:10.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (90-64): The Tigers pummeled the White Sox 12-5 Friday. Max Scherzer finally banked his 20th win on the season. Torii Hunter had 4 hits and 5 runs produced in the win. The Tigers knocked out 18 hits on the night.

Cleveland Indians (84-70): The Indians squeaked out a 2-1, rain shorten game over the Astros. Zach McAllister got the win. Cleveland moved into one of the 2 wild card spots.

Minnesota Twins (65-88): The Twins’ miserable second half continued with an 11-0 whitewashing by the Oakland Athletics. Andrew Albers got touched up for 8 runs (5 unearned) over just 4.2 innings.

Chicago White Sox (60-93): The Sox have to find away to win three more games if they want to avoid a 100-loss season. It will be tough as they  are playing playoff caliber teams from here on out.


  1. TAMPA BAY RAYS (84-69, 0 GB)
  2. CLEVELAND INDIANS (84-70, 0 GB)
  3. TEXAS RANGERS (83-70, .5 GB)
  4. KANSAS CITY ROYALS (81-72, 2.5 GB)
  5. BALTIMORE ORIOLES (81-72, 2.5 GB)
  6. NEW YORK YANKEES (81-73, 3 GB)