Napoli slid under the catcher’s tag for the winning run to cap the Rangers’ 7-6 come-from-behind victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
Napoli, who homered in the fifth and went 3 for 4, followed with a single. Two outs later, Andrus singled to right. Napoli steamed around second, and third base coach Dave Anderson waved him home. Although first baseman Eric Hosmer’s(notes) relay throw to the plate was in plenty of time, it was high and Napoli slid under Brayan Pena’s(notes) tag.
“I was surprised Dave waved me around,” Napoli said. “Good play. You’ve got to try to make something happen and something good did happen. I was running hard and didn’t break stride. I kept going and I was safe.”
Pena backed away from the plate on the throw, then slammed the ball down after Napoli was called safe.
Later, Pena admitted he should have done a better job on the decisive play.
“I thought I had home plate blocked, but I guess not,” Pena said. “When I was ready to tag him, I thought he was closer to me. I feel terrible about it. It was a mistake. It was perfect, a great relay. I thought I had him. But when I saw the replay, I could tell he was safe.”
Napoli’s teammates got a kick out of his mad dash around the bases.
“If you would have told me before the game (that Napoli would score from first on a single), I wouldn’t have believed you,” Andrus said. “We know he’s not a fast guy, but he’s a smart guy. That was an aggressive play and he was definitely safe.”
With the game tied at 5, Chris Getz(notes) led off the ninth against Neftali Feliz(notes) with a double. The ball eluded right fielder Cruz for an error, allowing Getz to take third, and Getz scored on Alcides Escobar’s(notes) sac fly to left for the lead.
After crossing the plate, Young smiled and pointed toward former President George W. Bush in box seats to the left of the Texas dugout. Bush lifted his cap in acknowledgment.
Bush lives in the Dallas area and attends several Rangers games each season.
“We’ve talked a lot through the years,” Young said. “I’ve had the chance to meet him several times because he comes to a lot of games. We’ve always had good conversations. It got me fired up. That was pretty cool … pretty sweet.”
Pena continued to thrive at the plate in Texas, hitting another homer. All three of his homers this season have been three-run drives, all on the road against the Rangers.
Royals rookie Danny Duffy(notes) allowed three runs and five hits in six-plus innings in his third big league start. The left-hander struck out four and exited after issuing his first walk of the day to Adrian Beltre(notes) leading off the seventh.
Ogando yielded only one hit in the first four innings, but lost command in the fourth when the Royals scored five times.
The converted reliever gave up five runs and seven hits in six innings with four strikeouts and one walk in his 10th big league start.
Ian Kinsler(notes) homered for the Rangers, but was ejected in the fifth by home plate umpire Mike Estabrook for tossing his bat after a called third strike. Kinsler’s exit meant that shortstop Andres Blanco(notes) moved to second, and Andrus entered the game at shortstop.
Young led off the second with a double and scored on Napoli’s two-out double.
Kinsler’s one-out bases-empty homer in the third—his seventh—made it 2-0.
The Royals answered with their five-run fourth as Wilson Betemit(notes) and Mitch Maier(notes) delivered consecutive RBI singles, and Pena followed with a towering upper-deck drive to right on an 0-1 pitch.
Pena also hit a three-run shot in the 14th inning of Friday night’s 12-7 win over Texas.
NOTES: RHP Felipe Paulino(notes) has been inserted into the Royals rotation replacing RHP Nate Adcock(notes), who moves into a long relief role. Paulino, acquired in a trade with Colorado last Thursday, will start Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels. … Ogando has gone at least six innings in all 10 starts. … Rangers RHP Brandon Webb(notes) will be limited to 60-75 pitches in Monday night’s rehab start for Double-A Frisco, his first appearance in an official game since his opening day start for Arizona on April 6, 2009. Webb is trying to come back from right rotator cuff surgery. … CF Julio Borbon(notes) will also begin a rehab assignment as the DH for Frisco in the same game, then he’ll join Triple-A Round Rock for six games. Borbon is on the 15-day DL with a sore left hamstring. … A total of 544 dogs and their owners were among the crowd of 45,011 on hand for the club’s annual “Bark in the Park” promotion.