Rangers Cap Sweep Of Royals With 8-7 Easter Win
ARLINGTON (AP) – C.J. Wilson struck out 10 in seven innings, Adrian Beltre hit one of Texas’ three home runs and the Rangers completed a three-game weekend sweep over the Kansas City Royals with an 8-7 victory Sunday.
Wilson (3-0) overcame giving up his first two homers of the season with his third career double-digit strikeout game. The crafty left-hander walked only one batter while giving up eight hits and four runs on another windy day at Rangers Ballpark.
Mike Aviles homered twice for the Royals, including a three-run shot with two outs in the ninth off Brett Tomko.
Arthur Rhodes then got the final out for his first save since 2008. The 41-year-old left-hander became the oldest player to get a save for Texas, only a day after 40-year-old Darren Oliver had set that mark with regular closer Neftali Feliz on the disabled list.
Kansas City (12-10) has lost eight straight on the road against the Rangers, dating to the 2009 season. The Royals arrived in Texas as the only team in the majors that hadn’t lost a series this season.
Mike Napoli and Andres Blanco also homered for Texas (14-7), which again has the best record in the American League. The Rangers had lost six of eight before this series.
All the Texas homers came off Bruce Chen (3-1), who had won seven consecutive decisions over his previous 11 starts. The left-hander gave up six runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Napoli led off the second with his fifth homer of the season. Beltre led off the fourth with his seventh, tying for the AL lead and putting the Rangers up 2-1.
After the Royals evened it in the fifth on a homer by Aviles, Texas sent 10 batters to the plate while scoring six times in the bottom half.
The Rangers outburst began with a rare homer from Blanco, the utility infielder playing only his fourth game this season. He pulled the first pitch of the inning down the left-field line, a 348-foot shot for only his second homer in 203 career major league games. It was his first in two seasons with Texas.
After a pair of walks, Michael Young stretched his hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI single that made it 4-2 and chased Chen. Reliever Jeremy Jeffress walked two more batters, including Napoli with the bases loaded, before David Murphy’s three-run double into the left-center gap.
Jeff Francoeur also homered for Kansas City to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. Alex Gordon has an 18-game hitting streak after a leadoff double in the eighth.
Wilson hadn’t allowed a homer in 35 innings over six starts dating to last season before Francoeur’s two-out solo shot in the fourth that hit high off the pole down the left-field line. Aviles’ 409-foot homer landed on the hill in center field an inning later.
Aviles lined the second pitch of the game into left field for a sharp single before Wilson struck out the next three hitters. Kansas City had two on in the second before Alcides Escobar lined into a double play.
The Royals got two runs in the seventh when No. 9 hitter Chris Getz had an RBI single following doubles by Wilson Betemit and Escobar.
Brett Tomko took over for Wilson starting the eighth for his first major league appearance since Sept. 14, 2009, when he three a five-hit shutout for Oakland at Rangers Ballpark. The right-hander had been recovering from a nerve problem in his arm.
Tomko went to spring training this year with Texas on a minor league deal and had his contract purchased from Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)