ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jorge De La Rosa was a bit nervous, a little excited and wanted to show the Kansas City Royals that he could be a long-term part of their starting rotation.
The 25-year-old left-hander left a pretty good first impression on his new team.
De La Rosa struck out seven and allowed only two runs over six innings in his Kansas City debut Saturday night, and the Royals beat the Rangers 5-3.
"I was impressed," manager Buddy Bell said. "I really was."
The Royals got De La Rosa (1-0) on Tuesday when they traded infielder Tony Graffanino to Milwaukee, where he was 0-2 with an 11.57 ERA in three starts. De La Rosa was 0-5 in eight previous major league starts.
Gerald Laird and Mark DeRosa hit home runs on consecutive pitches in the second inning for the Rangers, whose season-worst losing streak reached six games.
But those were the only runs allowed by De La Rosa despite giving up nine hits. The seven strikeouts were a career high.
"He had the demeanor to fight and be able to handle things," Bell said.
"He made the pitches when he needed them, was effective with his fastball and had great command of his changeup," said catcher John Buck, who had three hits and three RBI for the Royals. "He did a good job keeping his cool, and staying with it."
Ambiorix Burgos worked the ninth for his 16th save in 25 chances.
All-Star outfielder Carlos Lee went 3-for-4 with a walk in his second game since being traded from Milwaukee to the Rangers (51-53), who dropped three games behind division-leading Oakland in the AL West.
Kansas City, with the worst record in the majors, won the first two games of the series by beating the Rangers' top two starters and 10-game winners: Vicente Padilla on Friday and then Kevin Millwood (10-7).
Millwood walked five and gave up seven hits while allowing four runs over 5 1/3 innings. He also hit a batter with a pitch while losing for fourth time in six starts.
"I just couldn't get the ball where I wanted it to go," Millwood said. "Right now, I think we are all kind of in a rut at the same time. No facet of this team is going well right now, and it is never a good thing when the whole team is struggling."
Hoping to make a push for their first playoff appearance since 1999, the Rangers got Lee in a six-player deal Friday. The slugger is 5-for-8 in his two games in Texas, with a double on Saturday, but Texas hasn't won with him in the lineup.
The Rangers had 13 hits Saturday, but left 13 runners on base -- one short of their season high.
"It is always frustrating when you create chances to score and then come up empty," All-Star shortstop Michael Young said.
Buck provided two timely hits for the Royals.
Just one pitch after Millwood hit Shane Costa on the elbow to load the bases with two outs in the fourth, Buck's grounder up the middle was a two-run single that tied it at two.
Costa and Buck hit consecutive doubles in the sixth to break the tie. Millwood was pulled with the bases loaded after another walk and hit.
Reliever C.J. Wilson coaxed David DeJesus into a potential inning-ending double-play grounder, but the Royals' speedy leadoff hitter beat second baseman Ian Kinsler's wide relay throw to first and Buck scored to make it 4-2.
Joey Gathright's running catch and Jeremy Affeldt's one pitch in the seventh kept the Royals ahead.
Lee had a one-out infield single in the seventh, when he hustled down the line and was able to avoid a tag. Mark Teixeira followed with his third single of the game before Kinsler hit a long fly ball into the left-center gap. Center fielder Gathright made a leaping catch near the top of the wall, and Lee trotted home on the sacrifice fly while Teixeira scampered back to first.
Todd Wellemeyer, who replaced De La Rosa at the start of the inning, walked Laird and DeRosa to load the bases before Affeldt relieved him and needed only one pitch to get Brad Wilkerson on an inning-ending groundout.
LHP John Koronka (6-6) will start Sunday night for the Rangers instead of RHP Adam Eaton, who made his season debut Tuesday after recovering from finger surgery. Eaton had a bout of food poisoning Saturday. ... Teixeira has reached base in 22 straight games. His career best is 24. ... The Royals claimed their first one-city road trip since winning two of three games in Detroit in October 2001. This was their ninth one-city trip since.