KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If this was the last swing of the season at Kauffman Stadium, it was one to savor.
Justin Maxwell ended the Royals' home season with a two-out grand slam in the 10th inning Sunday for a 4-0 win over the Rangers in a matchup of AL playoff contenders.
"I kind of blacked out after I looked at Gordo (Alex Gordon) over there going crazy," Maxwell said. "I just saw the excitement in all my teammates' eyes. I couldn't wait to get around the bases and to home plate."
The Athletics clinched the AL West with Texas' loss. The Rangers dropped 1½ games behind the Indians for the second wild-card spot. Kansas City is 3½ back.
Maxwell connected off former Royals All-Star closer Joakim Soria.
"I've never faced him before," Maxwell said. "With a 3-2 count, bases loaded, two out, I was just looking for a fastball strike and I got one. I didn't try to do really do too much. Paralysis by analysis. I try to dumb it down and try to hit the ball hard."
Soria knew he couldn't afford to throw a borderline pitch and have the winning run score on a walk.
"I had to throw a strike in that situation, and it couldn't be close," Soria said.
Former Rays ace James Shields pitched eight strong innings for the Royals.