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After giving up five hits to his first 10 batters, Guthrie did not allow another hit after Ian Kinsler led off the third with a double. Elvis Andrus bunted him to third, but Perez picked off Kinsler with Josh Hamilton at the plate.
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"The big momentum shift was the throw by Salvy," Guthrie said. "That was a huge sigh of relief for me. I scuffled up to that point. It gave me a big boost."
Perez leads all major league catchers with three pickoffs this season even though he didn't play until June 22 after having knee surgery in spring training.
"That's a big play," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "You're staring down the barrel of being down 3-0 and you've got an All-Star pitcher on the mound with a tremendous offensive club. To pick a runner off third base and keep it 2-0, you still feel like you've got a chance for something to happen, and it did."
Gordon broke a 2-all tie in the fifth with a two-run shot off Matt Harrison, the third home run he has allowed to a left-handed hitter this season.
"From experience, he likes to pound me in with fastballs," Gordon said. "He does a pretty good job of laying it on the inside corner. It's a tough pitch to hit. I just tried to wait him out and get a pitch out over the plate. I was able to do that and put a good swing on it."
Guthrie (4-3) held the AL West leaders to two runs and five hits. He went 3-9 with Colorado before the Royals acquired him in a July 20 trade for Jonathan Sanchez.
"One play didn't change this game," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We just didn't score any runs. We had Hamilton up there with less than two outs. I figured we were going to get that run in."
After Perez's run-scoring double with two outs, Harrison was replaced by Roy Oswalt. It was a rare short night for Harrison (15-9), who has pitched at least eight innings in eight starts. He fell to 10-5 away from home, tied with Tampa Bay ace David Price for the most road victories in the American League.
Harrison allowed five runs, three earned, and eight hits. The Royals scored a pair of unearned runs in the third after an error by Kinsler at second base.
Giavotella connected off Oswalt, ending a drought of 185 at-bats with his first home run since Sept. 3, 2011.
Lorenzo Cain reached on Kinsler's error in the third and scored on Alcides Escobar's double, which snapped an 0-for-21 skid. Escobar went to third on Gordon's groundout and scored on Billy Butler's sacrifice fly.
After getting some help from his teammates, Guthrie cruised.
"When Salvy picked Kinsler off third base and he struck out Hamilton, he really got on a roll from that point," Yost said. "He got settled in, was banging strikes and was extremely sharp. From the third inning on he was fantastic. A phenomenal job by him."
|Jeremy Guthrie does more than enough to tame the hard-hitting Rangers, yielding just two runs in seven innings. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Ian Kinsler, 2B||3||0||1||0||1||1||0||.266|
|Elvis Andrus, SS||3||1||1||1||0||0||1||.298|
|Josh Hamilton, CF||4||1||2||0||0||2||0||.291|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.317|
|Nelson Cruz, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.262|
|Michael Young, DH||3||0||1||1||0||0||0||.268|
|David Murphy, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.321|
|Geovany Soto, C||2||1||0||0||1||0||0||.208|
|Mitch Moreland, 1B||3||0||1||1||0||1||0||.286|
|2B - Ian Kinsler (37, Guthrie), Mitch Moreland (14, Guthrie)|
|HR - Elvis Andrus (3, Guthrie)|
|SF - Michael Young (6)|
|SH - Elvis Andrus (13)|
|RBI - Elvis Andrus (52), Michael Young (56), Mitch Moreland (47)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mitch Moreland (8)|
|PK - Ian Kinsler (5, Guthrie)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|E - Ian Kinsler (15, Misplayed grounder)|
|Matt Harrison (L,15-9)||4.2||8||5||3||0||3||1||3.37|
|Pitches-Strikes - Matt Harrison 102-69, Roy Oswalt 30-24, Mark Lowe 14-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Harrison 6-6, Roy Oswalt 1-2, Mark Lowe 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Matt Harrison 23, Roy Oswalt 8, Mark Lowe 5|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Lorenzo Cain, CF||4||1||1||0||0||2||0||.243|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||4||2||1||1||0||0||1||.292|
|Alex Gordon, LF||4||1||2||2||0||1||1||.298|
|Billy Butler, 1B||3||1||1||1||0||0||1||.309|
|Eric Hosmer, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.240|
|Salvador Perez, C||4||0||1||1||0||0||0||.308|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||4||0||2||0||0||1||1||.234|
|Mike Moustakas, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.254|
|Tony Abreu, DH||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.350|
|Johnny Giavotella, 2B||4||1||1||1||0||1||4||.229|
|2B - Alcides Escobar (26, Harrison), Salvador Perez (14, Harrison), Mike Moustakas (30, Harrison)|
|HR - Alex Gordon (11, Harrison), Johnny Giavotella (1, Oswalt)|
|SF - Billy Butler (3)|
|RBI - Alcides Escobar (43), Alex Gordon 2 (62), Billy Butler (86), Salvador Perez (26), Johnny Giavotella (10)|
|2-OUT RBI - Alex Gordon 2 (18), Salvador Perez (12), Johnny Giavotella (5)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Outfield Assists - Lorenzo Cain 1|
|DP - Escobar-Butler|
|E - Billy Butler (2, Missed catch of throw)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Jeremy Guthrie (W,7-12)||7||5||2||2||2||5||1||5.34|
|Greg Holland (S,11)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.73|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Guthrie 102-64, Kelvin Herrera 17-11, Greg Holland 6-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Guthrie 5-9, Kelvin Herrera 2-0, Greg Holland 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Jeremy Guthrie 26, Kelvin Herrera 5, Greg Holland 3|
|Attendance - 12462|
|Game Time - 2:32|
|Temperature - 92|
|Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Adrian Johnson, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom|