Laird leads Rangers’ comeback

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 3:57 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 3, 2008

ARLINGTON, Texas — Gerald Laird and Michael Young homered and Kevin Millwood struck out nine in seven innings to lead the Texas Rangers to a 5-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.

The Royals had taken a 3-1 lead in the sixth, scoring twice on Rangers first baseman Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s double error. But the Rangers answered with a fourth-run sixth capped by Laird’s three-run homer.

Nelson Cruz’s RBI single in the sixth chased starter Kyle Davies (1-1) and pulled the Rangers within 3-2.

David Riske relieved with runners on first and second and Laird ripped a 1-0 pitch into the seats in left field for his seventh homer and a 5-3 lead.

Millwood (8-9) gave up three runs — one earned — and four hits in his longest outing since July 13, when he went seven innings against the Los Angeles Angels.

C.J. Wilson got four outs for his fifth save in six chances, stretching his scoreless streak to 15 1-3 innings.

Davies was making his third start since he came to the Royals on July 31 in a trade with the Atlanta Braves for reliever Octavio Dotel.

Davies allowed four runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. He struck out seven and walked one in 99-degree heat, the highest temperature for the first pitch of a Rangers’ home game this season.

With the game tied at 1, the Royals had Mark Grudzielanek at second and Billy Butler at first when Ross Gload hit a grounder to Saltalamacchia at first.

Saltalamacchia booted the ball for one error, allowing Grudzielanek to score. Saltalamacchia tracked down the ball in short right field and threw wildly to the plate for his second error on the play, this one allowing Butler to score for a 3-1 lead.

The Royals went in front 1-0 in the first on Butler’s RBI single. Millwood retired the next 12 batters until he walked Jason Smith in the fifth.

Young tied it at 1 with a leadoff homer in the fourth, his seventh.

Notes: Texas has won four of its last six. ... The Kansas City bullpen carried a 0.51 ERA in its previous 17 2-3 innings before Riske gave up Laird’s homer. ... Ian Kinsler’s stolen base in the fifth for the Rangers made him 15-for-15 this season.

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