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Red-hot Rangers pin another loss on Royals

Jun 7, 2015 - 12:50 AM Kansas City, MO ( - Wandy Rodriguez turned in another strong start to lead the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 win over Kansas City and continue the Royals' recent struggles.

Rodriguez (3-2) wasn't able to match teammate Chi Chi Gonzalez's three-hit shutout that carried Texas to victory in Friday's opener of this three-game set, though he came close. The veteran lefty limited Kansas City's sputtering offense to a run on six hits and didn't walk a batter over seven sharp innings.

"I had a very good curve today, which I used a lot and my location was good, too," Rodriguez said.

The effort, along with two hits and two RBI from Shin-Soo Choo, clinched a sixth straight series win for the Rangers. Texas has now won seven of its last eight and owns a 14-3 record since May 20.

Kansas City, on the other hand, has dropped nine of 11 and mustered a mere 23 runs over that stretch.

"We're just simply not getting it done right now," Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer stated. "That's all there is to it. We've got to clean it up."

The Royals went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position in this latest setback and didn't get much out of starter Yordano Ventura (3-5) either. The inconsistent right-hander lasted just three innings, surrendering all four runs on six hits while laboring through 78 pitches.

Jarrod Dyson did finish 3-for-4 in the loss, while Salvador Perez had a solo homer among his two hits for Kansas City.

Ventura struggled right from the outset, giving up four singles during a two- run opening inning that staked Rodriguez to an early lead. Choo and Prince Fielder each had reached in front of Mitch Moreland's base hit to center that knocked in the initial run, with Fielder later coming home on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly from Elvis Andrus.

More trouble came Ventura's way in the second, as he hit Carlos Corporan with a pitch to begin the inning and Hanser Alberto followed with a double down the left-field line. Choo knocked both in by smashing a fastball to the base of the wall in left center for a double that extended the margin to 4-0.

Though Joe Blanton was able to stop the bleeding with 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Ventura, Rodriguez continued to stymie the Royals' bats.

The crafty southpaw yielded just two singles and faced one over the minimum through four innings of play. Alex Gordon doubled for Kansas City but was left stranded in the fifth.

"He continued to attack the strike zone, got their hitters in a swing mode and then expanded the strike zone," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of Rodriguez. "When you get a veteran pitcher like Wandy or (Colby) Lewis, they understand when you get a lead it's about going after hitters and attacking the strike zone."

Jarrod Dyson hustled his way to a leadoff double in the sixth and was brought home by a Mike Moustakas single, finally getting the Royals on the board and end the club's stretch of 19 straight innings without a run.

Rodriguez got Kendrys Morales to ground out with two on to end the sixth and keep it a 4-1 game, though. Morales also bounced out against Sam Freeman with the tying run at the plate in the eighth.

Perez's seventh homer of the season came with one out in the ninth off Shawn Tolleson, who bounced back to strike out Escobar with Dyson aboard to earn his seventh save.

Game Notes

Rodriguez improved to 3-0 with a 1,89 ERA in six road starts, five of which he's allowed only one run ... Texas has won nine of 10 on the road and is now 19-11 as the visitor this season, tying the 1999 team for the best 30-game mark in franchise history ... The Rangers last captured six conseuctive series from Aug. 17-Sept. 6, 2012 ... Alberto went 3-for-4 and has hit safely in seven of eight games since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on May 28 ... Texas has won its last nine games in which it scored in the first inning.