ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- The Kansas City Royals, who began the
day last in the AL in homers, turned on a rare power display at
exactly the right time on Friday night.
Carlos Beltran, Mike Sweeney and Joe Randa hit consecutive
homers in the 11th inning on five pitches from closer Hideki Irabu
to lift the Royals to a 10-7 victory over the Texas Rangers. "You're not going to see that too often by our team,'' said
Sweeney. "It was pretty exciting, especially at that time in the
game. That was the nail in the coffin. We had to put them away.'' Beltran hit a grand slam in a six-run seventh, then broke a
7-all tie with a one-out solo shot in the 11th off Irabu (2-4).
Beltran had his fifth career multihomer game. When Irabu got behind in the count 2-0 to Beltran, Irabu grooved
a belt-high fastball that he jumped on for his eighth homer. "Irabu missed on two splitters, so I was sitting on a
fastball,'' Beltran said. "He threw one down the middle and I was
able to get a good swing at it.'' Sweeney and Randa followed with homers for a 10-7 lead, sending
the Royals to their fifth win in six games. The Rangers lost for
the sixth time in seven games. Kansas City last had back-to-back-to-back homers June 29, 2001,
in a 5-3 victory at Cleveland. Randa saw the Rangers come back with two runs in the ninth to
send the game into extra innings, so he knew the Royals needed all
the runs they could get in the 11th. "Strange things happen here,'' Randa said. "It's a tough place
to win. When you think you've got them down, they can come back
because of their offense. When they make mistakes, you've got to
take advantage.'' Cory Bailey (3-4) allowed two hits over two shutout innings for
the victory. The Rangers, who stranded 15 runners.
Irabu had converted 11 of 13 save opportunities after being
moved to the bullpen, but he seemed to lose strength in his second
inning. "I don't know if he ran out of gas,'' said Rangers manager
Jerry Narron. "He just had poor location.'' Texas made it 7-all with two runs in an odd ninth inning.
Hernandez had been successful on 17 straight save chances over two
seasons before Texas rallied against him. With one out, Juan Gonzalez hit his second double of the game
and scored on Carl Everett's single, making it 7-6. Pinch-hitter
Rusty Greer followed with a tying double. The Royals then set up for an intentional walk, but Hernandez
threw wide for a wild pitch on ball one, sending pinch-runner
Calvin Murray to third. After Mike Lamb was walked, Michael Young hit a grounder to
third baseman Randa, who trapped Murray in a rundown. Murray and
Lamb both wound up on third base, Lamb was tagged out, and Gabe
Kapler flied out to send it to extra innings. Rodriguez hit a pair of two-run homers for the Rangers,
increasing his AL-leading total to 17. Rodriguez homered in the first and fifth for his 23rd career
multihomer game and fourth this season. Beltran's grand slam highlighted a six-run rally in the seventh
that put the Royals ahead 7-5. Ibanez hit an RBI double off starter Ismael Valdes and another
run scored on Todd Greene's passed ball.
Reliever Randy Flores walked Neifi Perez and Francisco Cordero
walked Carlos Febles to load the bases for Beltran.
Former Rangers RHP Bobby Witt threw out the ceremonial
first pitch. Witt, who struggled with wildness throughout his
career, lobbed a perfect strike. ... Suppan has been tagged for 16
homers this season. ... The Royals are 8-7 since Tony Pena took
over as manager May 15. ... The Rangers had a season-high seven
doubles. ... Perry is 14-for-34 during a nine-game hitting streak.
... Texas is winless in five extra-inning games this season.