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Texas at Kansas City

Venue: Kauffman Stadium

The Kansas City Royals are still in first place in the AL Central but can't feel good about that the way things are going.

Getting to face Colby Lewis on Monday night could make them feel a little better.

The Royals have battered Lewis in the past and will look to end a three-game slide when they host the woeful Texas Rangers.

Kansas City (74-61) nearly dropped into a tie for first place in the division but its Sunday night game with Cleveland was suspended with the Indians leading 4-2 in the middle of the 10th inning. It will be completed Sept. 22 in Ohio.

The Royals remained one-half game ahead of Detroit. They scored five runs over the weekend including Sunday and will now turn their attention to trying to complete this homestand in strong fashion in a three-game series against baseball's worst team.

''If we're still in a funk then we're in trouble,'' manager Ned Yost said. ''We'll find a way to battle through it.''

Kansas City could feel better about what it can do at the plate against Lewis (9-11, 5.44 ERA), who is 1-3 with a 6.92 ERA in five career starts against the Royals.

The right-hander gave up four runs in six innings in a 6-3 home loss Aug. 22. That marked his third straight defeat before he ended that slide Wednesday by striking out seven in a seven-hitter to earn a 12-4 win at Seattle.

Lewis has notched complete games in his last two road starts. He'll be wary of Josh Willingham, who is 8 for 24 with two homers against him.

The Royals will give the ball to Yordano Ventura (10-9, 3.40), who had his scheduled start Wednesday against Minnesota scratched due to a sore back.

"As a precaution we think it's smarter to go ahead and bang him one start and go from there," Yost said earlier in the week.

The back issue flared up when Ventura earned the Aug. 22 win by limiting the Rangers to one run in six innings in his lone career start against them.

The Royals have won all three of his home starts since the All-Star break, with the right-hander going 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA.

Texas (53-83) is also searching for offense after scoring two runs in its last 18 innings, falling 3-2 at Houston on Sunday.

The Rangers led 2-1 in the sixth inning and manager Ron Washington lamented his team's inability to add to the score. Texas left six on base and was 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position.

''We put ourselves in position to maybe add on and didn't do it,'' he said. ''We still had the lead going into the part of the game where we had our two best pitchers in there.''

Adrian Beltre was 0 for 2 with two walks to see his average drop to .324 - 12 points behind major league batting leader Jose Altuve, who had four hits off Texas pitching.

Beltre is batting .439 with four homers and 11 RBIs during a 17-game hitting streak against the Royals.

Lorenzo Cain was 6 for 11, Mike Moustakas 4 for 10 and Billy Butler homered twice as the Royals took two of three at Texas last month.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

C. Lewis
Texas Last 3 Starts Kansas City
1-2 Wins-Losses 1-1
21.0 Innings Pitched 18.2
5.57 Earned Run Average 2.89
1 Walks 13
19 Strikeouts 15
1.14 WHIP 1.23

Y. Ventura
Probable Pitchers
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Texas1st AL West9567.586-5-5 L 2
Kansas City3rd AL Central8181.50013 ½ 4-6 L 4

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