Earlier this week I wrote about how I thought Joakim Soria needs a visit to the disabled list. On Sunday the issue reared its uly head yet again, as Soria and the Royals blew a one run leading going into the bottom of the ninth inning as they fell 7-6 to the Rangers in the series finale in Arlington.
Rookie Danny Duffy provided Kansas City with a quality start, going six innings on the mound, allowing three runs on five hits. He struck out four and walked one his his third starting since being called up from Omaha, but hasn't been the pitcher of record yet in any of his starts thus far.
Kansas City faced a tall task, facing Rangers starter Alexi Ogando, who entered Sunday with a 5-0 record to go with a 1.81 ERA.
After falling behind 2-0, Kansas City got to Ogando in the fourth inning, scoring five runs. The biggest play of the inning was catcher Brayan Pena's three run home run, with one out. Kansas City added two more runs after the home run, building a 5-3 lead. Pena now has three home runs on the season, all coming in Arlington. For those of you wondering, Kansas City is done visiting the Lonestar State this season.
Moving to the eighth inning, things looked good for the Royals to take the series, holding a 5-3 lead and Aaron Crow entering the game. However Crow gave up a two-run home run to Michael Young to tie the game. There had been two outs in the inning.
The Royals answered in the ninth though, off of a double by Chris Getz down the right field line, he advanced to third as Nelson Cruz had trouble fielding the ball and returning it back to the infield. The next batter Alcides Escobar lifted a fly ball to deep left field, allowing Getz to score on the sacrifice.
Protecting a one run lead, Soria then gave up a home run to Cruz, the first batter of the inning. Cruz attoned himself for his error in the top of the inning. Mike Napoli singled, before Soria struck out the next two hitters. And finally with two outs, Elvis Andrus punched a ground ball single to right field, allowing Napoli to round third. As Mitch Maier got the ball back into the infield and the ball was relayed to Pena at the plate, Napoli looked out by a wide margin. However Pena set up behind the plate and Napoli slide under the tag for the walk-off Rangers victory.
Kansas City was immediately upset with the call, but looking at the replay it was shown to be a good call by home plate umpire Mike Estabrook.
The Royals fall to 23-29, while Texas is now 28-25. Soria took the loss, falling to 3-2, while Arthur Rhodes improved to 3-2 with the win. The boxscore can be viewed here.
Now sitting a season high nine games out of first place, and just a half game above the fourth place Chicago White Sox, Kansas City returns home to face the Los Angeles Angels Monday afternoon at 2:10, with Luke Hochevar (3-5 4.81 ERA) set to face Ervin Santa (3-4 3.95).