KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—Mark Teahan erased a night of mistakes with one swing of his bat.
Teahen had a throwing error, a baserunning blunder and could have been charged with a second error on a hard-hit ball that was ruled a single. Nevertheless, his tiebreaking two-run home run in the eighth carried Kansas City to a 6-4 victory over Pittsburgh Wednesday night and sent the Royals’ third baseman home a happy and very relieved young man.
“I was hacked off the whole game,” he said. “I’ll definitely sleep a lot better tonight now than I would have earlier in the game. I’m just glad I was able to help out a little after hurting the team earlier.”
Teahen, whose throwing error had led to an unearned run, hit the first pitch from Salomon Torres (2-4) over the fence in right for his fourth home run, giving the Royals their fifth win in seven games. Emil Brown started the inning with a single against the Pirates, who blew a 4-0 lead for the second night in a row and have lost seven straight.
“When you’re ahead 4-0 and have a lot of men on base, you really have an opportunity to break things up, and if you don’t take advantage, it’s going to make you pay,” said Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy. “Our opportunity for the knockout punch was there and we didn’t take advantage.”
The Pirates are 1-7 against the American League.
“I’m disgusted with myself,” said Torres. “I should have done my job. Unfortunately, when you don’t make the pitches at this level, they’re going to get hit. I’ll just try to go out and do my job next time, but with more intelligence.”
Pittsburgh starter Ian Snell cruised through the first five innings before Joey Gathright, making his first start in center one day after coming over in a trade from Tampa Bay, singled to ignite a four-run inning.
One out later, Mark Grudzielanek’s RBI single scored the speedy Gathright from second. After Doug Mientkiewicz walked, Brown had an RBI double and Matt Stairs chased Snell with an opposite-field RBI single that made it 4-3.
Mike Wood’s throwing error on an errant pickoff at second led to a Pittsburgh run in the first on Sean Casey’s infield out. Then the Pirates added two in the second with the help of a throwing error by Teahen.
The Royals hadn’t committed an error in nine straight games. Jose Castillo’s RBI single a moment later off Teahen’s glove brought in one run and then Joe Randa scored on an infield out by Ronny Paulino.
Paulino’s RBI single made it 4-0 in the sixth.
“Mark I’m sure felt as bad as anybody,” said Royals manager Buddy Bell. “Or if he didn’t, he should have. But he kept playing the game. He had a huge hit for us.”
Snell, going for his sixth win in seven starts, went 5 1-3 innings and gave up four runs and seven hits, with two walks and two strikeouts.
Wood went 5 2-3 innings for the Royals and was charged with four runs—two earned—and seven hits, with two walks and one strikeout.
The Royals reached agreement with their second-round draft pick, INF Jason Taylor of Kellam High in Virginia. KC has signed or agreed to terms with 18 of their picks including 2-through-7. … After having troubles fielding in the earlier innings, Teahen made a terrific stop of Jose Bautista’s hard smash in the fourth. The next batter, Jack Wilson, hit a hard bouncer to shortstop Berroa, who threw him out from his knees. … Sanchez has hit safely in his last nine games. … Paulino swung so hard through a 3-2 pitch with two out in the eighth, he fell down.