KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — John Buck had three hits and two RBIs as the Kansas City Royals beat the Texas Rangers 6-5 Saturday night for their third straight win.
The Rangers made things interesting in the ninth off closer Octavio Dotel, who could be traded before Tuesday’s deadline for deals without waivers. Nelson Cruz hit a two-run homer and Frank Catalanotto followed with a double. But Dotel struck out pinch hitter Ramon Vazquez and got Michael Young to fly out to end the game. It was Dotel’s 11th save in 14 chances.
Cruz, who was called up Friday from Triple-A Oklahoma, hit two home runs and drove in all five runs for the Rangers, who lost their second straight after a four-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners.
Buck, who entered the game hitting just .180 in July, singled home Emil Brown with two outs in the second. Buck scored the second run of the inning when Mark Grudzielanek was hit by a Kevin Millwood pitch with the bases loaded.
The Royals had six straight hits in the third inning, leading to four runs. David DeJesus’ single to left chased Millwood (7-9), who allowed six runs and nine hits in 2 2-3 innings — his shortest outing since he went 1 2-3 innings on May 14 against the Los Angeles Angels.
Millwood was 3-1 with a 2.51 ERA in his first four July starts.
Left-hander Odalis Perez (6-9) picked up just his second victory at home this season. Perez, who was 1-6 with a 6.32 ERA in his first 10 starts at Kauffman Stadium, retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced. He gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings, while striking out four and walking none. He won for the first time at home since April 20 against Minnesota.
Brown, who led the Royals with 41 doubles in 2006, had three hits, including two doubles. He hadn’t doubled in 24 games.
Young had three of the Rangers’ nine hits, extending his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games.