Salvador Perez hit a scorching liner off the glove of third baseman Adrian Beltre for a single, allowing Jarrod Dyson to score the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and helping the Kansas City Royals beat the Texas Rangers 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Jason Frasor (4-1) left runners on the corners in the eighth against his former team, and Aaron Crow worked around a two-out single in the ninth for his third save of the season.
All-Star closer Greg Holland was unavailable after pitching three consecutive days.
The Rangers' Derek Holland and counterpart Jeremy Guthrie pitched to a stalemate through seven innings before the Royals broke through against Michael Kirkman (0-1) in the eighth.
The Royals' Nori Aoki and the Rangers' Daniel Robertson drove in the game's other runs.
Holland, making his season debut for the Rangers, looked unhindered by the knee surgery that had kept him out all season. Holland worked around a double in the first and breezed through the middle innings, his only real trouble hardly of his own doing.
Alcides Escobar doubled leading off the third, a fly ball that left fielder Ryan Rua should have tracked down at the wall. Two batters later, Aoki lofted a fly ball to shallow left field that Rua whiffed on with an awkward slide, allowing Kansas City to take a 1-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Guthrie kept dodging trouble until the fifth, when Roughned Odor tripled to start the inning. Robertson drove him in with a groundout to tie the game.
Guthrie proceeded to battle through two more innings on a night when the Royals were short on bullpen help. Top relievers Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Holland had each pitched three straight nights, making them unavailable to manager Ned Yost.
Francisley Bueno recorded one out for Kansas City. Frasor and Crow handled the rest.
The Royals recalled Crow, INF Christian Colon, OF Terrance Gore and RHP Liam Hendriks from Double-A Northwest Arkansas before the game. ... The Rangers recalled RHPs Nick Tepesch and Lisalverto Bonilla and INF Luis Sardinas while promoting Kirkman from Triple-A Round Rock.
Kirkman took the loss while Sardinas made the final out as a pinch-hitter.
Rangers: RHP Miles Mikolas, who is not making his scheduled start Thursday, will likely miss at least one more start with shoulder fatigue, manager Ron Washington said.
Royals: DH Josh Willingham (sore back) took batting practice and was available to pinch hit.
Rangers: Tepesch (4-8), who grew up in nearby Blue Springs, Missouri, will make his first start at Kauffman Stadium. He is 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA in two starts against the Royals.
Royals: LHP Jason Vargas has been feast or famine during his first season with the Royals. He has a 1.24 ERA in his 10 wins, a 6.25 ERA in his seven losses.