Kansas City at Texas

Kansas City
W: R. Braun (1-0) L: W. Eyre (4-6)
HR: KC - A. Gordon (11)   TEX - F. Catalanotto (9)

Royals 6, Rangers 2

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ryan Braun needed 25 appearances before he collected his first major league victory, but it was worth the wait.

Braun pitched 2 2/3 innings of two-hit shutout relief and Mark Teahen drove in the tiebreaking run on an eighth-inning fielder's choice as the Kansas City Royals beat Texas 6-2 Thursday night to snap the Rangers' three-game winning streak.

John Buck added a three-run double in the four-run eighth.

"It took a little longer than I was hoping, but luckily, things happened," Braun said. "I was able mainly to just get ahead of the hitters a lot quicker than some other outings this year. I was able to get them to swing at the first pitch and get some early outs."

Braun worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, retiring Marlon Byrd on a fly ball to end the threat. He allowed only two singles during a critical part of the game and was the pitcher of record when the Royals broke through in the eighth.

"Braun was outstanding," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "Our pitching's has really been pretty doggone good. (Braun) is a kid with a good arm. We need to bring him in situations like this, rather than mop-up situations, so we can see what he's got. Really, he was about as good as he could get tonight. We needed it too."

With the game tied at 2, the Royals got themselves in position for Braun's victory when they put runners on first and third in the eighth against reliever Willie Eyre on consecutive singles by Mark Grudzielanek and Billy Butler.

Teahen hit a chopper to first baseman Brad Wilkerson, who threw to the plate. But Grudzielanek slid around the tag of catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia for the go-ahead run.

Rangers manager Ron Washington said Saltalamacchia was in the proper position despite being an inexperienced major league catcher.

"He was trying to make sure he got the ball and Grudzielanek got by him," Washington said. "Grudzielanek made the play by being aggressive. We were inches away from getting out of the inning."

Kansas City went on to load the bases in the eighth and Buck cleared them with his double to right-center, giving the Royals a 6-2 advantage.

Buck had been in a 2-for-16 slump before the double.

"We made some adjustments because teams are just junk-balling me to death," Buck said.

Alex Gordon homered for the Royals and Grudzielanek had three hits for Kansas City.

Eyre (4-6) gave up four runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning.

Washington had limited bullpen options. His top three relievers -- Frank Francisco, Joaquin Benoit and C.J. Wilson -- were unavailable because of a recent heavy workload.

"We had to get someone else to step up," Washington said. "Willie got some ground balls that found holes and then left one up to Buck."

Rangers spot starter John Rheinecker pitched into the eighth inning. He was the fill-in for scheduled starter Brandon McCarthy, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday due to a stress fracture in his right shoulder.

Rheinecker gave up two runs and six hits, struck out two and walked three in 7 1/3 innings.

The Royals got a run in the first on Butler's RBI groundout. Frank Catalanotto tied it at 1 when he hit starter Leo Nunez's second pitch into the right field seats for his ninth homer of the season.

Texas went ahead 2-1 in the fifth when Saltalamacchia and David Murphy led off with singles to put runners on first and third. Ian Kinsler drove in Saltalamacchia with a sharp single off reliever John Bale.

Kansas City drew even in the seventh on Gordon's solo homer, his 11th of the season.

Nunez left the game in the fourth inning with a torn callous on his right thumb.

With the game tied at 1, Nunez gave up a leadoff infield single to Marlon Byrd that struck the back of Nunez's right knee.

He then threw two balls to Wilkerson before Bell and team trainer Nick Swartz went to the mound to check on the converted reliever, who was making his fourth major league start.

The problem was with Nunez's thumb, not his leg, and he was replaced by Bale.


Heavy rain started falling in the top of the fourth with the game tied at 1. Play was suspended before the Rangers could come to bat in the bottom of the fourth, but the shower was brief and the game resumed after a 22-minute delay. ... Catalanotto led off the game with a homer for the seventh time in his career and second time this season. ...Wilkerson struck out four times against four different pitchers.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Players of the Game

J. Rheinecker
IP 7.1
H 6
ER 2
BB 3
K 2
Kansas City

J. Buck
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

Kansas City Royals
Esteban German, 3B4000111 .280
David DeJesus, CF4100101 .272
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B5130000 .302
Billy Butler, DH3121200 .308
Mark Teahen, RF5111005 .285
Emil Brown, LF3000001 .226
   a- Joey Gathright, PH-LF1000000 .336
Alex Gordon, 1B3221110 .245
John Buck, C4023011 .233
Tony Pena, SS4000001 .269
a-grounded out for E. Brown in the 8th
2B - Mark Grudzielanek (25, Rheinecker), John Buck (17, Eyre)
HR - Alex Gordon (11, Rheinecker)
RBI - Billy Butler (35), Mark Teahen (51), Alex Gordon (41), John Buck 3 (43)
2-OUT RBI - John Buck 3 (13)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Pena-Grudzielanek-Gordon
Kansas City Royals
Leo Nunez 3411131 1.96
John Bale 1.1311020 3.77
Ryan Braun (W,1-0) 2.2200020 6.84
Zack Greinke 1000020 4.54
Joakim Soria 1000000 2.08
Pitches-Strikes - Leo Nunez 64-41, John Bale 22-15, Ryan Braun 33-22, Zack Greinke 15-9, Joakim Soria 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Leo Nunez 4-2, John Bale 1-0, Ryan Braun 2-4, Zack Greinke 1-0, Joakim Soria 2-1
Batters Faced - Leo Nunez 14, John Bale 6, Ryan Braun 10, Zack Greinke 3, Joakim Soria 3
Texas Rangers
Frank Catalanotto, LF3111112 .249
Ian Kinsler, 2B4021010 .258
Michael Young, SS4000013 .304
Sammy Sosa, DH4010002 .243
Marlon Byrd, CF4020013 .321
Brad Wilkerson, 1B4000042 .229
Adam Melhuse, 3B4000012 .220
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C4120001 .258
David Murphy, RF4010001 .462
HR - Frank Catalanotto (9, Nunez)
RBI - Frank Catalanotto (35), Ian Kinsler (43)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Kinsler-Young-Wilkerson, Young-Kinsler-Wilkerson
Texas Rangers
John Rheinecker 7.1622321 5.82
Willie Eyre (L,4-6) 0.2344100 5.16
Wes Littleton 0.2100110 4.28
A.J. Murray 0.1000000 7.50
IBB - Butler by John Rheinecker, Gordon by Willie Eyre
WP - John Rheinecker (1)
Pitches-Strikes - John Rheinecker 89-60, Willie Eyre 16-10, Wes Littleton 21-15, A.J. Murray 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Rheinecker 13-5, Willie Eyre 2-1, A.J. Murray 1-0
Batters Faced - John Rheinecker 29, Willie Eyre 7, Wes Littleton 4, A.J. Murray 1
Game Information
Attendance - 22674
Game Time - 3:21
Temperature - 91
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - John Hirschbeck