Six pitchers combined to throw 273 pitches Monday afternoon, but two pitches in particular created the most excitement at Kauffman Stadium.

One was a borderline pitch that could have helped keep alive Yu Darvish's bid for a perfect game, and another hit Nelson Cruz and pumped up the Texas Rangers.

But the final outcome -- Rangers 8, Royals 4 -- was all that mattered to Darvish, who said all the pieces of his rookie season are coming together, and Cruz, who hit one of five Rangers homers in the series-opening victory.