Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City
By ASSOCIATED PRESS  |  Last updated 9/21/13
The Kansas City Royals are on the verge of clinching their first winning season in 10 years, but they're concentrating on a more significant goal. The Royals will try to cut their deficit on a playoff berth while adding to Texas Rangers' September swoon Saturday night. Kansas City (81-72) has finished above .500 only once in the last 19 seasons, going 83-79 in 2003, but is close to securing another winning campaign after a 2-1 victory in Friday's series opener against Texas (83-70). The Royals scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning when Alcides Escobar, a .238 hitter, drew a bases-loaded walk off Neftali Feliz. It was the 17th victory in the last 25 games and 10th in 13 home contests for Kansas City, which trails by 2 12 games for the AL's final wild-card spot. "Every game is so big, and that's what makes it fun," reliever Luke Hochevar said. "The intensity, the electricity in the ballpark that we've had during this push, it's been awesome." The Royals will try to get even closer while sending Texas to its 15th loss in 19 games this month. The Rangers had a two-game lead in the AL West at the end of August but are now one-half game behind in the wild card race. "We've got to worry about winning ballgames," manager Ron Washington said. Having Matt Garza (3-5, 4.94 ERA) on the mound might not help. The right-hander is 0-4 with a 5.83 ERA in his last five starts and hasn't made it past the fifth inning in each of his last two. He was tagged for six runs and eight hits over 4 13 innings in a 6-2 loss in Tampa Bay on Monday. "I'm letting my team down," he told the team's website said. "My job is to help us get to October, and I'm still going to do that, keep trying, keep working, keep pushing. There's no quit, just keep going and be ready in five days." Garza is 1-5 with a 3.83 ERA in eight career starts against the Royals, whom he has not faced since 2010. He's 0-3 with a 4.18 ERA in four visits to Kauffman Stadium. Jeremy Guthrie, meanwhile, will try to earn his third win in four decisions. He pitched a complete game Sunday in Detroit but suffered a 3-2 defeat. Guthrie (14-11, 4.08) kept it competitive despite matching a career high by allowing 13 hits. "I spent the whole game with guys on base pretty much," Guthrie said. "They chased some pitches out of the zone and helped me out." Guthrie hasn't faced Texas since a 6-3 win at Kauffman on Sept. 4, 2012. He gave up two runs and five hits over seven innings in that game after going 0-3 with a 5.82 ERA in his previous four starts against the Rangers. Elvis Andrus, batting .353 with two homers and six RBIs in his last four games, is 8 for 17 all-time against Guthrie. Billy Butler is 8 for 20 with three doubles in his career against Garza.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Larry Brown to meet with LIU Brooklyn about coaching job

Report: Jay Cutler garnering 'zero' interest around NFL

Paul Millsap to opt out of contract, become free agent

Martellus Bennett calls out NFL to do more to build up communities

NBA disciplines Raptors’ Serge Ibaka, Bulls’ Robin Lopez for fighting

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jason Day tearfully withdraws from PGA event to be with ailing mother

Matt Barnes on Derek Fisher chants: ‘I’m sick of that s—’

Brent Musburger admits he once bet on a game he broadcasted

Jeff Hornacek: Knicks will run triangle ‘exclusively’ next season

Reese Witherspoon to speak to women’s gathering at NFL owners meetings

Doug Gottlieb will interview for Oklahoma State job

The 'Duke schadenfreude season came early this year' quiz

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Box Score 3/22: Team USA is heading to the championship

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

Box Score 3/21: WBC semis are bat-flipping fun

What you need to know for the World Baseball Classic semis

NBA Western Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

MLB players most likely to break out in 2017

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

What you need to know for the World Baseball Classic semis

Eastern Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

Eat, Drink, Watch: A weekend of March Madness and more

The 'Who will ruin your glorious bracket this year?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker