Neftali Feliz walked Alcides Escobar on four pitches with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning Friday night, giving the Kansas City Royals a 2-1 victory over the Texas Rangers in the opener of an important three-game series between teams in the playoff race. Texas dropped a half-game behind the Indians for the second AL wild-card spot with the loss.
Cleveland beat the Houston Astros 2-1 in rain-shortened game. The Royals were three games behind Tampa Bay.
The leading Rays played Baltimore. The Rangers and Royals scored matching runs in the second inning before two stingy pitching staffs started throwing up zeros. The Royals finally broke through when Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas hit consecutive two-out singles off the Rangers' Jason Frasor (4-3) in the eighth.
Pinch-hitter David Lough drew a walk on a full-count pitch to load the bases, and Rangers manager Ron Washington brought in Feliz.