ARLINGTON, Texas — Hey, it wasn't dull.
The Royals saw the opportunity for a remarkable comeback slip away Thursday night when Joakim Soria surrendered consecutive two-out home runs in the eighth inning to Josh Hamilton and Vladimir Guerrero in a 13-12 loss to the Texas Rangers.
On a night filled with stunning events, Soria's breakdown might rank as the most surprising. And that's saying something.
Kila Ka'aihue's one-out pinch single had just given the Royals their first lead at 12-11 earlier in the inning. Texas built leads of 8-0 and 9-2 before the Royals stormed back.
Robinson Tejeda got two quick outs in the Rangers' eighth when manager Trey Hillman summoned Soria to face Hamilton, who worked the count full before powering a no-doubt blast into the right-field seats for the tying run.
Guerrero followed with an opposite-field drive that had just enough carry to reach the seats for the game-winner. It was Guerrero's second homer of the game. His two-run drive in the seventh gave Texas an 11-9 lead after the Royals pulled even.
Neftali Feliz protected the one-run lead in the ninth for his seventh save in eight opportunities. Frank Francisco (4-3) got the victory despite serving up Ka'aihue's single. Soria (0-1) was the loser.
The Rangers built their 8-0 lead against Royals starter Kyle Davies through three innings by scoring twice in the first and six times in the third. Justin Smoak's three-run homer capped the six-run barrage and appeared to put the game out of reach.
After all, the Royals scored more than seven runs only twice in their previous 28 games. (Their last 40 games if you count back to last season.) Davies departed after yielding another run in the fifth for a line that showed nine runs and nine hits in four-plus innings. It was 9-2 when he exited and, somehow, he got a no-decision.
The Royals pulled even by scoring two more in the fifth against Texas starter Matt Harrison and five in the sixth against reliever Dustin Nippert. Scott Podsednik tied the game with a three-run homer into the upper deck in right field.
Texas reclaimed the lead at 11-9 on Guerrero's first homer, a two-run bomb in the sixth against Josh Rupe. But the Royals answered with Alberto Callaspo's two-run homer in the seventh against Chris Ray.
Rupe departed after David Murphy's leadoff double in the seventh, but Tejeda maintained the tie by retiring the next three hitters. He was positioned for the victory before Soria blew the save.
Davies' problems started with a one-out walk in the first inning to Michael Young, who scored when Josh Hamilton followed with a slicing RBI double into the left-field corner. Ian Kinsler made it 2-0 with a two-out RBI single.
Smoak's homer capped a six-run third inning that blew the game open.
Hot-hitting Elvis Andrus led off with a single, stole second and went to third when Aviles couldn't handle an errant throw from Kendall. Davies then walked Young again before Hamilton pulled an RBI single to right.
Guerrero's sacrifice fly extended the lead to 4-0. Singles by Kinsler and David Murphy added another run before Smoak battled Davies through a nine-pitch at-bat before unloading a no-doubter over the right-field wall.
And it was 8-0.
That cushion, perhaps, caused Harrison to lose focus in the fourth. He opened the inning by walking Willie Bloomquist, and Billy Butler followed with a two-run homer. A single by Jose Guillen brought Texas pitching coach Mike Maddux to the mound for a visit.
Harrison then retired the next three hitters but started the fifth with successive walks to Maier and Betancourt. Podsednik's single through the right side cut the gap to 8-3.