KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Justin Maxwell's grand slam in the 10th inning lifted the Kansas City Royals to a 4-0 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
Maxwell's two-out full-count grand slam off Joakim Soria, a former Royals closer, landed far over the left-field fence for his seventh home run.
The Rangers fell 1½ games behind the Indians for the final wildcard playoff spot. The Royals kept their faint playoffs cards alive with the victory, but are 3½ games in arrears of the Indians with seven road games remaining.
Eric Hosmer opened the Royals' 10th with an opposite-field double off Neal Cotts, who took the loss. Soria was brought in and walked Billy Butler intentionally and yielded an infield single to Salvador Perez. Soria retired the next two batters before Maxwell's blast.
Rangers starter Alexi Ogando, who came off the disabled list Sept. 2, was restricted 77 pitches. He threw seven scoreless innings, allowing just two singles, walking one and striking out five. The Royals got only one runner past first base off Ogando.
Royals ace James Shields was just as good, tossing eight shutout innings and giving up six hits while walking one and striking out two.
Closer Greg Holland replaced Shields in the ninth and struck out Alex Rios to strike out to start the inning, but he reached first on a wild pitch. Rios stole second, but was out trying to take third on Adrian Beltre's fly out to left. Gordon, a two-time Gold Glove recipient, picked up his American League-leading 16th outfield assist.
Tanner Scheppers, who replaced Ogando, retired all four batters he faced, striking out three. Scheppers has retired 16 of the past 18 batters he has faced.
The Royals received a major scare in the third when a David Murphy line drive struck Shields in the right elbow as he turned his back and attempted to duck out of the way. Shields recovered to throw out Murphy, but head trainer Nick Kenny and manager Ned Yost rushed out to attend to him.
After a few warm-up tosses, Shields remained in the game. He gave up two-out singles to Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus, but retired Alex Rios on a fielder's choice grounder to third baseman Mike Moustakas to end the inning.
NOTES: Royals LHP Danny Duffy, who has a strained left forearm, is eligible to come off the disabled list Monday, but it is improbable he will make another start this year. Duffy said he not played catch since going on the DL, and has just received treatment. ... LHP Derek Holland, who starts Monday against the Astros, will be looking for his first Rangers Ballpark victory since May 31. ... The crowd of 27,899 Sunday pushed the Royals home attendance to 1,750,754 for the season.