ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Bruce Chen pitched into the seventh inning for his second straight win and the Kansas City Royals took advantage of Adrian Beltre’s throwing error for a 3-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.
Chen (2-4) has won his last two starts since a four-game losing streak. The left-hander struck out seven and walked two over 6 2-3 innings, giving up only a massive homer to Nelson Cruz.
Scott Feldman (0-1) allowed two unearned runs over 4 2-3 innings in his second spot start this season.
Feldman gave up three hits, the last a two-run single by No. 9 hitter Alicides Escobar right after third baseman Beltre’s two-out throwing error.
Jonathan Broxton worked the ninth for his eighth save in nine chances for the Royals, who have won 11 of 17 since their 12-game losing streak in April.
Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the third. He was named earlier Monday the AL player of the week after hitting .467 (14 of 30) with nine homers and 18 RBIs in his seven games last week.
Jeff Francoeur led off the fifth with a single before Chris Getz, robbed of a hit two innings earlier when Beltre made a backhanded grab of a scorching liner, hit a two-out hopper to third. Beltre had plenty of time, but threw the ball wide of first base.
Getz then stole second base before Escobar’s liner up the middle made it 2-1, chasing Feldman. Center fielder Craig Gentry made a diving play on the ball, but trapped it on one hop.
Francoeur, part of the Rangers’ first World Series team in 2010, had a leadoff walk in the seventh and scored when Brayan Pena grounded into a double play.
Hamilton’s incredible streak had overshadowed Cruz, who also had 14 hits his previous seven games. But Cruz only had one homer in that span, a grand slam in a 13-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday night that ended his 23-game homerless streak.
Cruz homered again Monday, his fourth of the season. He pulled a ball an estimated 416 feet into the second deck of seats in left field, only the 17th homer hit there in the 18-year-old Rangers Ballpark.
But Cruz struck out his other three at-bats. The right fielder is the only Rangers player to start all 36 games this season since second baseman Ian Kinsler got his first night off.
Rookie left-hander Robbie Ross relieved Feldman and got Jarrod Dyson on an inning-ending called third strike. Ross struck out two in his 2 1-3 innings.
Texas needed a spot starter after a rainout last week in Baltimore pushed Colby Lewis back to Thursday. Lewis (3-2) will pitch on his regular rest Tuesday night against the Royals.
NOTES: It had been three years since a homer was hit into the second deck of seats in left field until Mark Trumbo of the Angels hit one there Sunday night. … Rangers RHP Yu Darvish said his body “feels normal” in preparation to start Wednesday for the first time since he pitched into the sixth inning Friday night even after a nearly 2-hour rain delay in the first inning. … RHP Vin Mazzaro starts Tuesday for Kansas City in the spot of Jonathan Sanchez, who went on the DL last week. The Royals put left-handed starter Danny Duffy on the DL on Monday with a torn ligament in his elbow. … The Rangers’ record streak of nine consecutive sellouts ended with a crowd of 38,702.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)