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Rogers lowers ERA even more in sixth straight win for Rangers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kenny Rogers didn't have to be at his sharpest to win his sixth straight start for the Texas Rangers.

Rogers gave up a run in the first and allowed six baserunners through the fourth, even with a three-up, three-down inning in that stretch.

But that was the only run the 40-year-old left-hander allowed over seven innings in an 8-1 victory against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night. Rogers (6-2) lowered his American League-best ERA to 1.69.

"He never pitches according to the score. He's trying to put a shutout inning up there and get us back in the dugout," manager Buck Showalter said.

"He didn't have his great stuff. He went more with his fastball because his changeup wasn't that sharp," catcher Sandy Alomar said. "But he got people out. He just creates stuff. He mixed it up. He knows how to survive."

Richard Hidalgo homered for the fifth time in five games, and Alfonso Soriano and Mark Teixeira also homered in Texas' sixth straight win -- the longest current streak in the majors.

The Rangers have consecutive three-game sweeps at home over last-place teams Houston and the Royals, who pitched two winless starters in Texas. They end the homestand this weekend against the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox, facing Jon Garland and Mark Buehrle during the weekend games.

Rogers threw 64 of his 98 pitches for strikes with just one strikeout. He allowed five hits, only one of them for extra bases, with two walks and a hit batsman.

Just like he has all season, Rogers afterward spoke only to one of the writers who regularly cover the team. Rogers' boycott of most media started after reports just before spring training that he threatened to retire without a contract extension.

Rogers is in the second year of a $6 million, two-year contract he signed in January 2004 to return to Texas for the third time.

Before giving up a run in his last start against the Astros, Rogers had pitched 31 consecutive scoreless innings. The only complete game in the four-game stretch was May 14 at Minnesota, and his last loss was 3-2 at Tampa Bay on April 21.

Jose Lima (0-4) allowed eight runs, leaving after Teixeira's 11th homer led off the fifth to make it 8-1.

Lima is winless in 13 starts since Sept. 14 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, including all 11 of his starts for the Royals. And his spot in the rotation could be in jeopardy.

"He looked like he was going to be all right, and then he gives up three home runs," interim manager Bob Schaefer said. "We'll have to see what we're going to do. We can't keep getting behind."

Hidalgo had an RBI single in the second that made it 2-1. Two innings later, he hit his 10th homer -- fourth in the three-game series -- for a 7-1 lead.

Soriano, in a 6-for-38 slump over 10 games, hit a three-run homer with two outs in the third. It was his 12th of the season, his first since May 14.

The Royals scored in the first when David DeJesus walked and scored on a sacrifice fly by Emil Brown.

It was only the second time in six games the Rangers trailed. Texas was behind only after Rogers' scoreless streak ended in the second Friday night against Houston, but the Rangers tied that game the same inning.

Kansas City had runners at first and second in the third, and they were running when Mike Sweeney hit a sinking liner to left. Kevin Mench made the shoestring-level catch and doubled up Angel Berroa to end the inning.

Rangers third baseman Hank Blalock's error in the seventh ended his streak of games without an error at 53, matching Buddy Bell's team record.

Blalock had fielded 149 straight chances without an error since Sept. 25, with four in this game until Eli Marrero's tough grounder hit off his glove and rolled into left field.

"It stayed down and got by me. It's one of those things, I'm glad they called it an error," Blalock said. "I really wanted to make sure I earned it the right way, not with a call that could go either way. ... It's a play I should have come up with."

On the next pitch, Blalock cleanly fielded Alberto Castillo's grounder to start a double play.

Bell, who won five straight AL Gold Gloves from 1979-84, had 170 chances without an error in his 53-game streak during the 1979 season.

Notes

  • Steve Stemle, whose contract was purchased by the Royals from Triple-A Omaha earlier Thursday, made his major league debut with three strikeouts over three perfect innings after replacing Lima.
  • Lima has allowed 15 home runs over 55 1/3 innings this season.
  • The Rangers and Royals, who share a spring training complex in Arizona, play seven more games this season. All are in Kansas City, next week and Sept. 1-4.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Kenny Rogers gives up an early run, but nothing thereafter to earn his sixth decision in a row. (AP)
Kenny Rogers gives up an early run, but nothing thereafter to earn his sixth decision in a row. (AP)

Players of the Game
Kansas City

D. DeJesus
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 0
Texas

R. Hidalgo
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Kansas City Royals
Angel Berroa, SS4010000 .264
David DeJesus, CF2110100 .263
Mike Sweeney, DH4010003 .315
Emil Brown, RF3001010 .230
Tony Graffanino, 2B4010011 .260
Matt Diaz, LF3020100 .244
Eli Marrero, 1B4000014 .163
Alberto Castillo, C4000013 .190
Joe McEwing, 3B3000001 .273
Totals311612412 
Batting
2B - Angel Berroa (8, Rogers)
SF - Emil Brown (1)
RBI - Emil Brown (20)
Team LOB - 7
Kansas City Royals
Jose Lima (L,0-4) 4788213 8.13
Steve Stemle 3000030 0.00
Mike Wood 1000000 3.62
Pitches-Strikes - Jose Lima 68-37, Steve Stemle 37-28, Mike Wood 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jose Lima 4-7, Steve Stemle 4-2, Mike Wood 2-1
Batters Faced - Jose Lima 21, Steve Stemle 9, Mike Wood 3
Texas Rangers
David Dellucci, DH4000020 .283
Michael Young, SS4110000 .279
Mark Teixeira, 1B4111001 .285
Hank Blalock, 3B3100110 .279
Alfonso Soriano, 2B4113000 .268
Kevin Mench, LF3100100 .299
Laynce Nix, CF3221000 .279
Richard Hidalgo, RF3123000 .234
Sandy Alomar Jr., C3000011 .289
Totals31878242 
Batting
2B - Laynce Nix (5, Lima)
HR - Mark Teixeira (11, Lima), Alfonso Soriano (12, Lima), Richard Hidalgo (10, Lima)
RBI - Mark Teixeira (30), Alfonso Soriano 3 (29), Laynce Nix (20), Richard Hidalgo 3 (28)
2-OUT RBI - Alfonso Soriano 3 (7), Laynce Nix (6), Richard Hidalgo (9)
Team LOB - 1
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Kevin Mench 1
DP - Mench-Soriano, Blalock-Soriano-Teixeira
E - Hank Blalock (1, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Kenny Rogers (W,6-2) 7511210 1.69
Kameron Loe 1000000 2.45
Nick Regilio 1100030 4.02
HBP - DeJesus (by Kenny Rogers)
Pitches-Strikes - Kenny Rogers 98-64, Kameron Loe 11-8, Nick Regilio 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kenny Rogers 9-10, Kameron Loe 3-0
Batters Faced - Kenny Rogers 28, Kameron Loe 3, Nick Regilio 4
Game Information
Attendance - 25022
Game Time - 2:13
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Tony Randazzo, First Base - Ed Montague, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Paul Emmel