The Royals lost 4-3 to the Texas Rangers in walk-off fashion on Wednesday, Kansas City's third consecutive defeat after beginning Cactus League play 14-2.
Trailing 2-0 at one juncture and 3-2 at another, the Royals made two comeback bids with rallies in the sixth and eighth innings. But, down to their final out, the Rangers won the game with an RBI double by catcher Sandy León off of Kansas City reliever Austin Cox.
Texas built its initial 2-0 lead off of Jordan Lyles, who allowed two hits, five walks and two runs (one earned) across 3.2 innings in his fifth spring appearance. Those runs scored on RBI groundouts by Rangers second baseman Justin Foscue and shortstop Ezequiel Duran in the second and third innings, respectively (the first was unearned because of an error made by Lyles earlier in the inning).
However, the Royals leveled the score 2-2 in the sixth inning. Jean Ramirez and Nate Eaton led the frame off with back-to-back singles, then advanced to second and third on a fielding error by Rangers center fielder Travis Jankowski. One Nick Loftin RBI groundout and Tucker Bradley single later, and the contest was tied.
Texas punched back in the bottom of the sixth by working three walks off of Dylan Coleman and plating a run on an RBI groundout by Jonathan Ornelas with the bases loaded. Royals first baseman Jake Means then knotted the game again with a solo home run in the top of the eighth.
But León struck the final blow, roping a double to left field with a runner on first to win the game.
The Royals next play against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona.