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Rangers 3, Royals 1

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Matt Garza allowed one run on five hits as the Texas Rangers topped the Kansas City Royals 3-1 on Saturday night with both clubs battling for a wild-card playoff berth.

Garza, who won for the first time since Aug. 19 to snap a personal four-game losing streak, held the Royals scoreless into the ninth, which Eric Hosmer led off with a home run into the left-field bullpen.

That was manager Ron Washington's cue to bring in Joe Nathan from the bullpen. Nathan logged his 40th save in 43 saves. He owns 41 career saves against the Royals.

Garza, who is 4-5 since the Rangers traded four players to the Cubs for him on July 22, walked one and struck out five.

The loss dropped the Royals 3 1/2 games behind the Cleveland Indians, who beat Houston 4-1 Saturday, for the second wild-card spot. The Rangers remain a half-game behind the Indians.

Jeremy Guthrie (14-12) was charged with the loss, yielding three runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings.

Craig Gentry had three of the eight Rangers hits, while Adrian Beltre went 2-for-4 with a RBI and is hitting .374 at Kauffman Stadium.

Ian Kinsler opened the game with a triple to center and scored on Elvis Andrus' groundout to shortstop.

The Rangers tacked on two more runs in the second, when Guthrie walked Andrus and Alex Rios on eight pitches after one out. Adrian Beltre rolled a single up the middle to score Andrus and move Rios to third. A.J. Pierzynski sacrifice fly to left scored Rios, making it 3-0.

Garza, who had failed to last longer than 4 1/3 innings in his previous two Rangers starts, limited the Royals to one hit -- an Emilio Bonifacio first-inning single -- in the first four innings.

Garza did not give up another hit until Jarrod Dyson's triple to right with two out in the fifth. Garza struck out Alcides Escobar looking to end the inning.

Guthrie crossed the 200-inning barrier for the fourth time in five years. He joins teammates James Shields and Ervin Santana in pitching 200-plus innings. The last time the Royals had three pitchers log 200 innings was 1997 -- Kevin Appier, Tim Belcher and Jose Rosado.

NOTES: RHP Alexi Ogando will make just his eighth start Sunday for the Rangers since May 16. He has been placed on the disabled list three times with shoulder inflammation and biceps tendinitis. He is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in five games, one start, since activated Sept. 4. ... Despite losing a franchise record 11 consecutive home games early in the season, the Royals have won 43 Kauffman Stadium games, which is the most since going 43-38 in 1993.

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