A new month has brought some renewed success for the Texas Rangers.
With Scott Feldman looking for another strong outing, the AL West-leading Rangers try for a fourth consecutive victory Saturday night against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Texas (62-43) concluded July by losing eight of 12 but has been perfect in three August contests. Rangers starting pitchers allowed 29 runs over 21 2-3 innings while splitting a four-game set with Los Angeles this week, but Matt Harrison gave up two over 6 2-3 innings in Friday's 5-3 win at Kansas City.
Hoping to follow Harrison's outing with a solid one of his own, Feldman (5-6, 4.76 ERA) is 4-0 with a 2.89 ERA in his last six games - including a win in relief. Prior to that stretch, he had lost six straight starts while posting a 7.34 ERA.
The right-hander has allowed one run in 15 innings to win both of his starts since the All-Star break, possibly regaining a regular spot in the rotation following a season-ending injury to Colby Lewis.
"The main adjustment I've made was to have a better attitude and not get caught up in the rumors and when I'm going to pitch and when I'm not going to pitch," Feldman said. "I'm just worrying about having a good time and keep things simple."
Feldman gave up two unearned runs in 4 2-3 innings of a 3-1 loss to the Royals on May 14, dropping to 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA in five starts against them.
Teammate Mitch Moreland, who hit a three-run homer in the series opener, is 7 for 16 with six RBIs in five games since missing more than a month with a strained left hamstring.
Texas All-Star Josh Hamilton went 1 for 4 hours after he released a statement regarding his battle with some self-discipline issues, specifically attempting to quit chewing tobacco. He's hit .304 with five RBIS over the last five games after a 44-game stretch during which he hit .186.
Hamilton and the Rangers get their first look at Kansas City rookie Will Smith (2-3, 5.94), who tries for a third straight quality start Saturday.
"It's nothing really different," Smith told the Royals' official website about facing Texas. "You've still got a plan, still got to execute your pitches against them. They might have bigger names in their lineup, but it's nothing really different. You've still got to do your job."
After beating the Angels by giving up a run and two hits in seven innings of a 4-1 win July 24, the left-hander allowed three runs in six innings while not factoring in the decision of a 7-6 loss at Seattle on Sunday.
Smith, however, is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA at Kauffman Stadium.
Catcher Salvador Perez had three hits Friday for the Royals (44-61), who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Perez, who missed the first 2 1/2 months of the season while recovering from a knee injury, is batting .336 in 30 games.
Kansas City's Alex Gordon has hit .396 in his last 25 home games. He's 4 for 8 against Feldman.