ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jurickson Profar belted a two-out home run in the bottom of the eighth to lift the Rangers to a 3-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon.
Profar is clutch: Profar had a walk-off opportunity in the ninth inning Saturday and didn't come through. He didn't miss his chance to be a hero Sunday. With a 1-2 count, Profar hit a 95 mph two-seam fastball into the right field seats to snap a 1-1 tie. The Rangers had just given up the lead in the top of the eighth. Profar's second home run of the season traveled 383 feet.
Darvish throws 99 pitches: Yu Darvish was pulled after seven innings with only 99 pitches. He had retired eight Royals in a row. Darvish threw 27 pitches in the second inning, but kept his pitch count down the rest of the game. He left with a 1-0 lead that was immediately lost in the top of the eighth.
Darvish gives 7 shutout innings: Darvish allowed three hits. He walked two. He didn't allow a run in seven innings. And yet it was a struggle at times for Darvish. He loaded the bases on a walk and two singles in the second inning but was able to get out of it as Craig Gentry threw out Billy Butler at home with a huge assist on a swipe tag by catcher Geovany Soto.
Rangers strike first: The Rangers took advantage of a bad throwing error by Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead. Leadoff hitter Elvis Andrus was the beneficiary, getting on second base. Andrus tagged up to third on a deep fly ball to center field. He scored on Lance Berkman's 30-foot ground ball that Ervin Santana fielded for the second out of the inning.
Rough eighth: The Royals took advantage of Darvish and third baseman Adrian Beltre not being in the game in the top of the eighth. Alex Gordon had a double down the right-field line off reliever Neal Cotts, just the second hit by a left-handed hitter against him. After a sacrifice bunt to move Gordon to third, Eric Hosmer hit a weak grounder to third that Jeff Baker, playing for the injured Beltre, fielded but threw high to Soto to tie the game. Baker was not charged with an error, though he did appear to have a play at the plate.
Up next: The Rangers get an off day before beginning a stretch of 20 games in 20 days. They open a three-game series at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night at 6:10 p.m. The pitching matchups in Boston are Justin Grimm versus Ryan Dempster on Tuesday, Alexi Ogando versus John Lackey on Wednesday and Derek Holland versus Jon Lester on Thursday.