ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Kansas City Royals pitcher Jakob Junis is ending the month of May on a satisfactory note.
Junis allowed two runs and four hits in six innings and the Kansas City bullpen helped limit the second-highest scoring offense in the American League to five hits as the Royals snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.
Jorge Soler and Adalberto Mondesi homered as the Royals improved to 8-20 away from Kauffman Stadium, but still have the worst road record in the majors.
Junis (4-5) allowed solo homers to Shin-Soo Choo and Nomar Mazara, and two walks to go with seven strikeouts for his first win since May 1. The victory follows three losses and a no-decision.
“After that first inning, I just stopped trying to try so hard, just letting it come to me and let my body relax,” Junis said. “I slowed things down, and I got pretty sharp there for the rest of the game.”
Ian Kennedy worked a perfect ninth inning for his third save, and the first for Kansas City since May 1.
“We just needed a little bit more offensive production today that we didn’t get,” Rangers manager Chris Woodard said.
Mike Minor (5-4) allowed three runs on seven hits in five-plus innings, matching the most runs he has allowed in his last seven starts. Minor entered the game ranked fourth in the American League in ERA at 2.55, and had given up two earned runs in his previous 30 innings at Globe Life Park.
Soler’s three-run home run struck the foul pole in left field and was his career-best 14th this season. He has 12 RBI in his last nine games.
Mondesi had his fifth three-hit game of the season.
Choo’s homer was his sixth in the last 12 games and the 199th of his career.
Mazara has homered in two of his last three games.
Minor took a four-hit shutout into the sixth inning. After Mondesi left off with a single to left field, left-handed hitting Alex Gordon hit a grounder to the left side against the shift. Third baseman Asdrúbal Cabrera began to field the ball to his left before letting it go through to shortstop Elvis Andrus, whose throw to second base wasn’t in time.
“I think there was a little bit of miscommunication there,” Woodward said of Gordon’s grounder. “He (Cabrera) thought Elvis was going to get it. That’s probably Cabrera’s ball to go after, especially when your momentum is carrying you toward second base.”
Soler then hit a first-pitch fastball at the top of the strike zone.
“He’s not supposed to hit that,” Minor said. “I don’t know how he’s sitting on that when I’m throwing changeups.”
The Rangers continue their series with the Royals Friday evening at 7 p.m.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)