Rangers reliever Neftali Feliz walked Alcides Escobar on four pitches with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning Friday night, scoring the go-ahead run and giving the Royals a 2-1 win over the Texas Rangers. The race for the wild card tightened up as Texas dropped a half-game behind the Indians for the second AL wild-card spot with the loss. Tampa Bay beat Baltimore in 18 innings, as the Royals gained ground on two of there teams they are chasing. The Royals remain 2.5 games out of the second wild card spot. Cleveland beat the Houston Astros 2-1.
Each team scored a run in the second inning on RBI doubles. Ervin Santana held Texas to one run on five hits and a walk through 7.1 innings. Luke Hocehvar finished off the eighth and got the win after the Royals finally broke through when Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas hit consecutive two-out singles off the Rangers’ Jason Frasor. Pinch-hitter David Lough drew a walk on a full-count pitch to load the bases, and Feliz came on and issued the go-ahead free pass.
Greg Holland closed out the ninth for his 44th save.
Wild Card Standings:
Tampa Bay 84-69
Texas 83-70 0.5 GB
Baltimore 81-72 2.5 GB
Kansas City 81-72 2.5 GB