By Dave Sessions and Chris Vannini
Special to MLB.com |
ARLINGTON -- A one-out single by Delino DeShields to left field scored Joey Gallo in the bottom of the 13th inning to give the Rangers a 1-0 walk-off win over the Royals on Thursday night at Globe Life Park, in the longest scoreless game in the Majors this season.
In his second start, Rangers righty Andrew Cashner threw six shutout innings, allowing just three hits, along with four walks and three strikeouts. A Rangers bullpen that had been struggling all year pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out 11, and reliever Dario Alvarez was credited with the win after the final two shutout innings.
DeShields' game-winning hit came off a changeup on the 10th pitch of the at-bat against the Royals' Travis Wood. DeShields had looked at film of his previous at-bat and felt he was too long with his swing. So the next time up, he tightened the swing, fouled off five pitches and knocked the 10th pitch to left field to end it.
"I was just trying to be short to the baseball and put a good swing on it," DeShields said. "I didn't square up, hit it off the end of the bat, but I stayed through it and got the ball in the air and drove that run in."
Royals starter Danny Duffy threw 100 pitches over 7 1/3 innings, striking out five, but the nonexistent run support cost him a chance for his third victory in four starts.
"I think what you saw tonight was two struggling offenses facing off with some pretty darn good pitching on both sides," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Cornered, but corralled: In the fifth, the Rangers put runners on the corners with one out and the top of the lineup coming up, looking to break the scoreless tie. But Duffy forced Carlos Gomez to fly out to center and Elvis Andrus to fly out to right field to end the threat and keep the game tied. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy's double to lead off the inning would be the Rangers' last hit until Gallo's double in the 13th.
Early Royals rally runs off rails: The Royals had an early chance to rattle Cashner, putting runners on first and second with one out in the first inning, when Mike Moustakas singled and Lorenzo Cain walked. But Cashner picked Moustakas off second and got Eric Hosmer to fly out. It was a sign of things to come for the Royals, who stranded seven.
"He put together a great at-bat, battling, fighting. I threw a decent [changeup] that last pitch. I'd have liked it to have been down a little bit more, if it's down a little bit more I get the ground ball or he swings over it. In games like that, somebody's got to lose." -- losing pitcher Wood, on DeShields' 10-pitch, walk-off at-bat
"We tell each other, 'You're nasty.' We play around with each other all the time. We're close, give each other confidence and feed off each other inning by inning." -- Jeremy Jeffress, on the Rangers' bullpen's performance
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Thursday's epic was the first game in 23-plus seasons at Globe Life Park to remain scoreless into the 13th. Since the ballpark opened in 1994, only three games remained scoreless all the way into the 11th. The Rangers won both prior contests, 1-0: an 11-inning affair against the Blue Jays in 2000 and a 12-inning epic against the Astros in '14.
With two outs in the top of the 12th, the Royals' Whit Merrifield stole second, but the Rangers challenged the call in hopes of ending the inning. After a review, the call stood, but Alvarez retired the next batter, Alcides Escobar, on a soft grounder to squash the threat.
WHAT'S NEXT Royals:Nathan Karns will face the Rangers on Friday at 7:05 p.m. CT, vying for his first victory in three starts, having earned no-decisions in his two previous starts. The Royals lost one-run games to the Angels and Astros in those outings, though Karns left with the lead each time.
Rangers:Cole Hamels takes the mound Friday looking for his first win of 2017, despite leaving each of his first three starts in position to win, before the bullpen gave up the leads. Hamels has a 3.50 ERA.