Buck's shot, Davies' solid start fall short
Catcher's two-run homer, righty's one-run outing not enough
ARLINGTON -- Manager Buddy Bell sat on a table inside the visitors' clubhouse at Rangers Ballpark. He put one hand on his hip and wore a very upset look after the Royals' 3-2 loss to Texas on Wednesday night.
The defeat marked the second straight game where the Royals made several mental and physical errors. On Wednesday, KC miscued on a pickoff play, had a ball scoot under John Buck's legs, and Alex Gordon was picked off first base.
"You can't show up for 150 games," Bell said. "You have to show up for 162. That was terrible. This is a long season, and the guys have to learn that if you don't show up for every game, you are going to get hammered, you are going to get embarrassed.
"I think that is what has happened to us the last two nights. We are so worried about looking good, we don't worry about playing good. The last two nights are very disappointing."
Bell laid the blame on everybody, including himself.
"No energy ... that is my responsibility for that to happen the last two nights," he said. "Not too good. You have to care more than that."
The night featured very few positives. Buck hit his 18th homer of the year, a two-run shot, and Kyle Davies threw five solid innings and allowed two runs (one earned). However, the unearned run proved costly.
Texas nicked Davies for a run in the second and another three innings later on an error by Billy Butler, who was making his fourth Major League start at first base and second since Aug. 14.
With one out and Frank Catalanotto on first base, Davies stepped off the rubber and threw to first. The throw was chest-high and catchable, but Butler couldn't grab it and Catalanotto moved to second base.
"It was one of those things where it came out of his hand and it cut on me," Butler said. "It cut away from me and it cut behind the runner. I didn't take as good of an angle as I wanted and I couldn't get around him. It was just out of my reach.
"I cut the ball a little bit and it was a tough throw to handle," Davies said. "You should give him a good throw over there, and I didn't do it."
Down 2-0, the Royals loaded the bases in the sixth on a walk, single and a Mike Sweeney hit-by-pitch. Sweeney was hit in the right hand on an inside fastball and fell to the ground. He was attended to by team personnel and, after a few minutes, stayed in the game. Gordon struck out on an inside fastball to end the threat.
In the bottom of the inning, Texas tacked on another run and extended its lead to 3-0.
Brad Wilkerson led off the inning with a single off John Bale and moved to second when David Murphy flied out to left field. Joey Gathright appeared to have a play at second, but spun around when he caught the ball and Wilkerson reached second easily.
Hank Blalock lined a single to left and Gathright rifled a throw home that beat Wilkerson. However, the ball snaked through Buck's legs and Wilkerson scored standing up.
"It was a short hop, but it was a good throw," Buck said. "I came up, because I got eager to tag the guy and, basically, I went to tag him before I had the ball. It was a great throw by Joey. I just missed it."
Buck atoned for his mistake when he blasted his team-leading 18th homer on a 1-2 pitch from Wes Littleton over the right-center-field fence. The homer brought the Royals within one.
They started another rally in the eighth when Alex Gordon reached on an infield single with two out. However, Gordon was picked off first base for another KC miscue.
KC finished 3-4 on its seven-game road trip. It remains stuck on 62 wins, the same total it had last season. One more victory would end the streak of three straight 100-loss seasons and four in five years.
"We had a good chance to win the game and we didn't," Butler said. "That doesn't just happen with young guys, that happens with every team.
"A couple of us young guys didn't get the job done today. ... It is just one of those things that it just didn't work out for us tonight."
Conor Nicholl is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.