ARLINGTON, Texas — Michael Young hit a two-run double, Ian Kinsler homered and the Texas Rangers held on to beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 Wednesday night.
Royals starter Gil Meche allowed only two infield singles before Ramon Vazquez drew a leadoff walk and Kinsler singled in the sixth. Both runners raced home when Young’s drive split the gap in right-center, giving Texas a 2-1 lead.
Mike Wood (3-1) allowed two hits in one scoreless inning to earn the win.
Rangers reliever C.J. Wilson had his scoreless streak of 16 2/3 innings end in the ninth.
Pinch-hitter Emil Brown reached on an error leading off, and Wilson walked Esteban German before John Buck hit an RBI double to center field. Joey Gathright followed with an infield single that made it 4-3.
With runners on the corners, Tony Pena Jr. hit into a game-ending 5-4-3 double play for Wilson’s sixth save in seven chances.
Kinsler’s 15th homer leading off the eighth stretched the lead to 4-1.
Meche lost his fifth straight start, giving up three runs — two earned — and five hits in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out four and walked three.
The Rangers got a strong return to the rotation from right-hander Vicente Padilla, who struck out a season-high eight. Padilla left after five innings trailing 1-0.
Padilla was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game. He hadn’t pitched since June 21 when he was shut down with right triceps inflammation, and he looked fresh when he struck out the side in the first and fifth innings.
Padilla allowed one unearned run and four hits without a walk, throwing 80 pitches.
Kansas City threatened to go in front in the seventh, loading the bases with one out against Texas reliever Frank Francisco. Joey Gathright hit a fly ball to center, but Marlon Byrd threw out pinch runner Jason Smith attempting to score from third to complete the double play.
Texas made it 3-1 in the seventh when Nelson Cruz scored from third on reliever Jimmy Gobble’s throwing error, after Gobble fired wide on an attempt to pick off Jarrod Saltalamacchia at first.
The Royals scored the game’s first run in the third on a wild rundown gone awry.
With Pena at first, David DeJesus singled to right and outfielder Cruz threw to Young, the cutoff man at shortstop, who fired to first and got DeJesus in a rundown. Second baseman Kinsler chased DeJesus back to first, then threw to third and got Pena in a rundown.
After tagging Pena at home, catcher Gerald Laird threw to second in an attempt to get DeJesus. Laird’s throw was off target and ended up in the outfield, allowing DeJesus to score easily from second.