KANSAS CITY -- Vladimir Guerrero hit a pair of two-run home runs on Tuesday night and nobody cared. All anybody wanted to talk about after the Rangers' 8-7 victory over the Royals was Guerrero's RBI double in the seventh inning. "To me the great at-bat was the double down the line," said manager Ron Washington, the first of many people to weigh in on the subject after the game.
Guerrero has hit 428 doubles in his career. What made this special was the location of the pitch and how hard it was thrown. It's almost as if the strike zone is a moot point for Guerrero. "The umpire told me he couldn't believe it," outfielder Josh Hamilton said. "You can sit there and hit balls off a tee all day long but you can't teach that," outfielder Julio Borbon said. The Rangers were ahead 7-6 when Guerrero came to bat against Royals reliever Blake Wood with one out in the seventh. Michael Young, whose RBI double had just put the Rangers ahead, was standing on second. Wood, a right-handed rookie reliever, came right at Guerrero with fastballs. Guerrero fouled off the first two, then took one for a ball. Then came the pitch of the night. Wood threw an inside fastball. Way inside. "A 95-mile-per-hour sinker," David Murphy said. "I came in and watched the replay. It was a foot and a half inside." "If he takes it, the ball hits him in his back knee," Young said. Guerrero didn't take it. He is known for being a "bad-ball" hitter. This was ridiculous. "I wasn't trying to swing but I ended up swinging," Guerrero said sheepishly. "He has the best set of hands I've ever seen," Young said. "He just kept his hands inside and hit it." Guerrero hit a line shot down the left-field line and into the corner, bringing home Young with the run that would end up being the difference in the game. "Crazy," Wood said. "He's probably the most amazing hitter I've seen," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "You make a mistake and he hits it a mile and then you make the pitch you want -- Blake Wood threw him a pitch that was a foot inside and he still pulled it down the line for a double. How he kept that ball fair, I have no idea. He's just one of a kind."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.