ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adrian Beltre hit a tying RBI single, and then got picked off at first base. Shin-Soo Choo slipped on a hit-and-run and got thrown out trying to get to third base. And Stolmy Pimentel watched his first pitch sail over the wall in right.
It was that kind of night for the Texas Rangers.
“Obviously to beat a team that was in the World Series last year, and is playing well right now, you’ve got to make all the plays you need to make,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “You can’t give them extra chances.”
Alex Gordon’s leadoff drive in the 10th sent Kansas City to a 7-6 win Tuesday night. After Greg Holland (1-0) was handed his first blown save in seven chances this season, the right-hander pitched a perfect 10th for Kansas City.
Gordon’s fourth homer was the only hit allowed by Pimentel.
Choo, who had a leadoff homer in the first, led off the Texas ninth with his third hit. Jake Smolinksi then came in to run, and Elvis Andrus had a sacrifice bunt.
Beltre then had his tying hit, but with Kyle Blanks at the plate, Beltre was picked off first by catcher Salvador Perez. Beltre initially was called safe by umpire Ted Barrett, but that was overturned on a replay challenge by the Royals.
“It was a ball in the dirt, so Beltre’s trying to be aggressive,” Kansas City first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “(Perez) is incredible at blocking the ball, and he just got right back up on his feet and made a great play.”
Hosmer and Mike Moustakas also homered for the AL Central leaders, who went ahead on an RBI groundout by Lorenzo Cain in the ninth. Beltre’s hit off Holland tied the game for the fourth time.
“Just the ability to come in and trade punches with them was good,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Moustakas homered on an 0-2 pitch from lefty Alex Claudio in the seventh, giving Kansas City a 5-4 lead. Moustakas was Claudio’s only batter.
“Let it over the plate, a good hitter hit it out of the ballpark,” Banister said. “It’s tough, tough for all of us in that dugout.”
In the bottom of the seventh, Gordon also had a nifty defensive play in left field. He picked up Andrus’ single and threw an off-balance strike to third baseman Moustakas retire Choo, who had slipped coming around second base.
That was before Blanks had an RBI single that plated Andrus and made it 5-all. The designated hitter, who had three hits to snap a 1-for-15 slide, was trying to check his swing when he instead blooped a hit to short right.
Rangers left-hander Nick Martinez made his fifth consecutive start without a decision since winning his first two games this season. He allowed four runs (three earned) with four strikeouts and one walk in 6 1/3 innings. Texas had won each of his first six starts. … Royals RHP Edinson Volquez allowed four runs and six hits in five-plus innings. The right-hander pitched as an opponent in Texas for the first time since the Rangers traded him to Cincinnati in December 2007 for Josh Hamilton.
Royals: Alcides Escobar was hit by a pitch on the arm for the second night in a row, but like Monday stayed in the game. He just returned to the lineup Friday after missing seven games with a concussion after being hit in the side of the face by a pitch April 29 at Cleveland.
Rangers: CF Leonys Martin was out of the lineup with a sore left hand, though he did appear as a pinch runner. … LHP Matt Harrison (spinal fusion surgery) is scheduled to throw two innings in an extended spring training game in Arizona on Wednesday. … LHP Derek Holland (left shoulder), who threw only one inning in the home opener April 10, will have a third scan May 22 that will determine if he can start throwing again.
Royals: Yordano Ventura (2-2) beat Texas twice in an 11-day span last season, allowing three earned runs with 13 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings.
Rangers: Yovani Gallardo (2-5) tries to avoid losing five consecutive starts for the first time in his nine MLB seasons.