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Royals beat Nationals 6-4, snap 7-game losing skid

Sunday, August 25, 2013 | 5:41 p.m. CDT
Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Greg Holland, left, and catcher Salvador Perez celebrate their 6-4 win over the Washington Nationals at the end of a baseball game Sunday at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

KANSAS CITY — Salvador Perez homered early, then drove in the tiebreaking run in the eighth, and the Kansas City Royals ended their seven-game losing streak on Sunday, rebounding for a 6-4 victory after blowing a 4-0 lead against Washington.

With two out, a runner on first and the game tied 4-all in the eighth, Billy Butler hit a hard grounder that first baseman Adam LaRoche knocked down. The ball rolled several feet to his right, and when pitcher Craig Stammen was late to cover the bag, the slow-running Butler kept the inning going by chugging to first with an infield single.

Stammen then walked Mike Moustakas on four pitches and Perez hit a hard grounder to shortstop Ian Desmond. He bobbled momentarily and his throw to third was late, allowing the tiebreaking run to cross the plate on what was first ruled a fielder's choice and then changed to an infield single before David Lough's RBI single made it 6-4.

Kelvin Herrera (5-6) pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief for only the Royals' third victory in 13 games. Stammen (7-6) took the loss and was part of a shaky defense that led to the Nationals' first loss in six road outings.

Greg Holland pitched the ninth for his 35th save in 37 opportunities, giving up two singles but striking out the side. Stammen went one inning, gave up three hits and two earned runs.

Royals starter Ervin Santana was handed a 4-0 lead after the first inning but gave up three home runs, including Bryce Harper's two-run shot with two out in the seventh that tied it 4-all.

Santana had a 4-1 lead and two out in the seventh when Denard Span's third hit of the day went for his third home run of the year. Ryan Zimmerman followed with a single, bringing a visit to the mound by Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland. Harper then hit Santana's next pitch over the fence in left-center, bringing Herrera in from the bullpen.

Washington starter Dan Haren entered the game 4-0 in six career starts in Kauffman Stadium and had never allowed more than two earned runs in KC, but that quickly changed.

On Haren's third pitch, Gordon hit the 11th leadoff home run of his career. After Emilio Bonifacio walked, Eric Hosmer hit an RBI single. Hosmer was out trying to steal, then Mike Moustakas singled and Perez homered for a 4-0 lead against Haren, who had been 4-2 since coming back from the DL on July 8.

Haren was in danger again in the second and saved only by a standout double play started by LaRoche, who dove to his right to spear a line smash off Gordon's bat. From his knees, LaRoche threw to second base to double off Alcides Escobar.

After that, Haren allowed only two singles while going seven innings. He was charged with four runs on eight hits.

In the Nationals' fourth, Desmond homered for the second time in two games. The ball bounced off the facade of the Royals hall of fame behind left field and was estimated at 431 feet.

Span drilled a ball off Santana's right hip with one out in the third. It went all the way into foul territory behind third base while Anthony Rendon went from second to third. But after testing his leg and visiting with the Royals trainer on the mound, Santana stayed in to strike out Zimmerman and retire Harper on a shallow fly.

Santana was charged with four runs on 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings, with seven strikeouts and no walks.

NOTES: Jayson Werth was back in the Nationals lineup at DH after sitting out one game with an infection in his right foot. ... The Royals had a fifth straight losing season in interleague competition. ... The Royals face Tampa Bay on Monday to make up a game that was snowed out in May. ... The Nationals finished a 10-game trip to Chicago, Atlanta and Kansas City.


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