ARLINGTON, Texas -- A hit batter in the 10th inning with the bases loaded pushed the winning run across the plate as the Kansas City Royals downed the Texas Rangers 4-1 on Saturday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark.
Kansas City (23-30) broke through in the 10th with singles from Alcides Escober and Eric Hosmer. The pair advanced on a misplayed ball by left fielder David Murphy, and 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 hitters, but he was not as lucky facing David Lough. A 2-1 pitch from Ross struck the wrist of Lough, pushing the Royals to a 2-1 lead.
"He was doing a good job even though he had the bases loaded," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of his reliever. "He had two strikes and tried to get the ball in and just hit him."
Geore Kottaras followed by bouncing a double off 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.
"It was a nerve-wracking inning," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "You have Profar, who is one of the best young hitters in the game, with runners on second and third. Crow had more balls than strikes thrown, so an intentional walk was out of the question and you just had to go get Profar."
James Shields of the Royals and Nick Tepesch of the Rangers went toe-to-toe in a pitchers' duel that lasted into the seventh inning. James outlasted Tepesch in distance, but neither picked up a decision.
Shields pitched seven strong innings, allowing five hits and a run and striking out five.
"I've faced that team quite a few times over the last few years," Shields said. "You have to do your best to minimize the damage and give your team a chance to win, and fortunately we did."
Texas overcame Shields in the fourth after he had retired 10 consecutive batters. Mitch Moreland followed up back-to-back singles by Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz with a line drive over the shortstop's glove 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 save.
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 load 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 Lough reached base on an infield single and Johnson singled to right to push Lough to third. Lough scored on a 0-2 count with two out when Tepesch's curveball glanced off 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, steal and error, Elvis Andrus hit a hard grounder with the infield in, but Escobar made a diving play to prevent Martin from scoring.
"We had opportunities," Washington said. "Moreland delivered the one that we cashed in, but other than that we still had opportunities. It was the same on the other side though. They had a few opportunities too and Tepesch pitched around it. They took advantage of theirs in the 10th."
Hosmer led the Royals with three hits, the fourth time he has accomplished the feat this season. Moore and Cain each cashed in a pair of hits.
NOTES: Rangers DH Lance Berkman was ejected in the first inning for arguing a called third strike. Berkman was the first Ranger to be ejected in 2013. ... Beltre left the game in the 10th with tightness in his left hamstring. ... Lough departed after being hit by the pitch in the 10th. X-rays were negative on Lough's wrist and he is listed as day-to-day. ... 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).