KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Bartolo Colon has reached one goal he set for himself this season and is within two wins of another.
Colon earned his 244th victory, passing Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for the most by a pitcher born in the Dominican Republic, and the Texas Rangers beat the skidding Kansas City Royals 6-3 on Monday night.
Adrian Beltre hit a three-run homer for the Rangers, who won their third straight game. The 45-year-old Colon (4-4) allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings to break a tie with Marichal on the career wins chart.
Only right-hander Dennis Martinez has more victories among pitchers from Latin America. Martinez, a native of Nicaragua, won 245 games in the majors.
“Now that I’ve won the 244, I see that it’s close to Dennis Martinez, but with health and enough time, I’m ready to be able to pass him and be the first Latin with more wins,” Colon said through a translator. “I feel happy, of course, to pass a Hall of Famer, the first Dominican in the Hall of Fame.”
The Royals have lost seven straight and 13 of 14. They’ve dropped 27 of 37 games at Kauffman Stadium, the worst home record in the majors. Kansas City is 2-14 in June, having been outscored 95-35.
Colon was 1-3 with a 9.51 ERA in his five previous starts. Kansas City loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but the portly and popular right-hander affectionately nicknamed Big Sexy got out of the inning when Hunter Dozier grounded into a double play.
“They’ve wanted to get this win for him for some time now,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “It’s just incredible to watch. He’s such a humble guy. No real fanfare whatsoever. Kind of just a great humility. But, these guys fought hard for him and were able to get him some runs and he fought hard for it tonight.”
Keona Kela tossed a spotless ninth for his 16th save in 16 chances.
Beltre homered in the third off Ian Kennedy, with Elvis Andrus and Nomar Mazara aboard, to give the Rangers a 5-0 advantage. Mazara had three hits.
Kennedy (1-7) is 1-13 in his last 28 home starts. He is winless in 13 starts since an April 7 victory at Cleveland.
The right-hander gave up a home run to Shin-Soo Choo on his fourth pitch, a drive that just cleared the Royals’ right-field bullpen fence. Choo reached base five times, including a double and three walks.
Kennedy yielded five runs and four hits, two of them homers. He walked three.
“Just one really bad inning and it cost us the game,” Kennedy said. “One pitch, I hung a curveball and the three-run homer was the big swing and it cost us the game. I felt like I pitched better than the line. I really felt like we were going to come back and win.”
Adalberto Mondesi had an RBI double in the Kansas City third and scored on Mike Moustakas’ sacrifice fly.
Rosel Herrera had a run-scoring triple in the fourth for his first extra-base hit and RBI, trimming the lead to 5-3.
Delino DeShields’ bunt single in the eighth scored Jurickson Profar for the final Texas run.
Just before the game, Royals manager Ned Yost broke the news to closer Kelvin Herrera that he had been traded to the Washington Nationals for three minor league prospects.
“It was one that was a little emotional,” Yost said of the conversation. “I’ve seen him throw every pitch he’s ever thrown in the big leagues. I’ve seen him come up as a rookie and be a part of one of the best bullpens (with Wade Davis and Greg Holland) in recent history, to be an All-Star and a world champion. We knew this day was coming someday down the road. It’s a chance for him to go play for a winner.”
Royals SS Alcides Escobar is in a 3-for-45 drought in his past 12 games.
Rangers: Andrus was activated after missing 59 games with a broken right elbow. RHP Ricardo Rodriguez was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock, where he had allowed one unearned run in 13 1/3 innings. C Jose Trevino was optioned to Double-A Frisco after hitting a game-ending, two-run single in the ninth on Sunday. RHP Deck McGuire was designated for assignment.
Royals: Whit Merrifield was in the lineup as the designated hitter after leaving in the second inning Sunday with a bruised left knee after fouling a pitch off his leg.
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (3-6, 3.69 ERA) starts Tuesday night at Kansas City.
Royals: RHP Jason Hammel (2-7, 4.89) is winless in his last eight home starts.
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