ARLINGTON, Texas -- A hit batter in the 10th with the bases loaded pushed the winning run across the plate as the Kansas City Royals downed the Texas Rangers, 4-1, on Saturday at Rangers Ballpark.
Kansas City (23-30) broke through in the 10th with singles from Alcides Escobar and Eric Hosmer to open the inning. Escobar and Hosmer advanced on a misplayed ball by left-fielder David Murphy and Rangers reliever Robbie Ross loaded the bases with an intentional walk to Billy Butler.
Ross appeared to work through the jam, striking out the next two Royals, but was not as lucky facing David Lough. A 2-and-1 pitch struck Lough on the wrist, pushing the Royals to a 2-1 lead.
George Kottaras followed by bouncing a double off of the right-field wall to score Hosmer and Butler.
Texas (34-21) had its opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the ninth with runners on second and third. However, Jurickson Profar fouled out to the catcher to end the threat.
James Shields of the Royals and Nick Tepesch of the Rangers went toe-to-toe in a pitchers' duel that went six innings. James outlasted Tepesch in distance, although despite neither picking up a decision.
Shields pitched seven strong innings allowing five hits, an earned run and struck out four Texas batters.
Texas overcame Shields in the fourth after he had retired 10 consecutive batters. Mitch Moreland followed back-to-back singles by Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz with a line drive over shortstop to plate Beltre.
Aaron Crow (1-1), who pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, including the ninth, picked up the victory and Greg Holland got his ninth of the season.
Tepesch, starting against his hometown team for the first time, departed after throwing 6 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run. The right-hander found success in trusting his defense, as 12 of the 19 outs recorded with Tepesch on the mound were on grounders to the infield.
The lone blemish on Tepesch's final line was an unearned run in the fifth that allowed the Royals to tie the game.
Neal Cotts replaced Tepesch in the seventh following singles by Lorenzo Cain and Aaron Moore. Cotts struck out Elliott Johnson, the first batter he faced, but walked Alex Gordon to loaded the bases with two out.
Cotts escaped the jam on a short fly ball to center by Escobar.
The Royals tied the score in the fifth when David Lough reached base on an infield single and Johnson singled to right to push Lough to third.
Lough scored on a 0-and-2 count with two out when Tepesch's curve ball glanced off of A.J Pierzynski's glove and to the backstop for a passed ball.
Escobar prevented Texas from pushing back into the lead in the bottom half of the inning. After Leonys Martin reached third on a walk, a steal and an error, Elvis Andrus hit a hard grounder with the infield in, but Escobar made a diving play prevent Martin from scoring.
NOTES: Rangers DH Lance Berkman was ejected in the first inning for arguing a called strike three. Berkman was the first Ranger to be ejected in 2013. ... Adrian Beltre left the game in the 10th because of tightness in his left hamstring. ... The Rangers and Royals conclude their three-game series on Sunday, with Yu Darvish (7-2, 3.03 ERA) facing Ervin Santana (3-5, 3.33).