Kansas City at Texas

Kansas City
W: D. Mathis (1-0) L: B. Thompson (0-2)
S: N. Feliz (9)
HR: KC - M. Aviles (2)   TEX - None

Rangers 6, Royals 4

CBSSports.com wire reports

ARLINGTON, Texas -- David Murphy's swinging the bat like he deserves a regular spot in the Texas Rangers lineup.

Murphy had three hits and drove in two runs, Max Ramirez contributed the go-ahead RBI with a fifth-inning double, and the Rangers completed a four-game sweep with a 6-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

"He did what he does, which is swing the bat and drive in some big runs," Washington said. "I've said all along that we're going to need Murph."

Murphy went 8 for 17 with four doubles during the series with the Royals while filling in for right fielder Nelson Cruz, who's on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.

Cruz is expected to be activated this week, and he carried the Rangers early with seven homers that still lead the team.

But Murphy's recent hot streak has raised his average from .151 to .229, and manager Ron Washington won't park Murphy on the bench once Cruz returns.

Prior to the series, Murphy told himself to relax, that he was trying too hard.

"When I speed up my at-bats, my mechanics get out of whack a little bit and I don't see the ball as well," Murphy said. "That was my goal going into the series, and I feel like I did it successfully. We'll see what happens when [Cruz] gets back."

Doug Mathis (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory as the Rangers won for the 10th time in 13 games. Neftali Feliz got three outs for his third save in the series and ninth in 10 chances overall.

The Royals went scoreless over the final five innings against four Texas relievers.

Mike Aviles homered and had three hits for Kansas City, which completed a 3-8 trip.

"It was bad. It was real bad," Royals manager Trey Hillman said of his team's road woes. "If you had told me we would be 10 games under .500 at this time, I never would have believed it."

Kansas City's Mitch Maier had a two-run double in the second to open the scoring.

Texas answered with a four-run third against starter Luke Hochevar on Josh Hamilton's RBI ground-out, Vladimir Guerrero's sacrifice fly and Murphy's two-run double.

Hamilton went to second on Guerrero's fly ball, and after the game Hillman said Hamilton never tagged up. But none of Royals players on the field tried to appeal the play, and Hamilton remained at second.

Hamilton and Ian Kinsler later scored on Murphy's double.

"I had no clue," Kansas City first baseman Billy Butler said. "I didn't see it. Obviously I'm embarrassed about it now. I was watching the play in front of me. I didn't pick up on it. That's my priority. That's on me."

Hochevar, weak from an illness over the last couple of days, was gone after 2 2/3 innings and 71 pitches. He allowed four runs and three hits.

Aviles' leadoff homer and Yuniesky Betancourt's RBI double in the fourth pulled Kansas City even at 4.

Rangers starter Scott Feldman lasted only four innings, giving up four runs and six hits while throwing 100 pitches.

Texas took a 5-4 lead in the fifth on Ramirez's two-out RBI double off Brad Thompson (0-2).

Thompson retired the first two batters in the fifth before Murphy and Justin Smoak singled, and Ramirez drove in Murphy with a hit to right-center.

Michael Young's RBI single off Robinson Tejeda in the eighth extended Texas' lead to 6-4.

The Rangers have their first off day on Monday after playing 20 straight games, but Washington would rather keep riding the current hot streak.

"It seemed when we started playing baseball every day, things began to fall into place," Washington said.


Cruz will play for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday and Wednesday nights on a rehab assignment. ... Washington said LHP Derek Holland will get his first start of the season Wednesday in place of LHP Matt Harrison. Washington said there is no firm date for roster moves that would recall Holland from Oklahoma City and send Harrison to the 15-day DL with left biceps tendinitis. Holland was already with the Rangers before Sunday's game for a bullpen session with pitching coach Mike Maddux. ... Several hitters from both teams used pink bats, batting gloves and wrist bands to mark Major League Baseball's "Go to Bat Against Breast Cancer" campaign.

Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game
Kansas City

M. Maier
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

D. Murphy
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0

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Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, RF4010011 .264
Scott Podsednik, LF4000022 .314
Billy Butler, 1B3000101 .333
Jose Guillen, DH2100201 .268
Alberto Callaspo, 3B4000003 .294
Mike Aviles, 2B4231000 .417
Jason Kendall, C4010012 .288
Mitch Maier, CF4122001 .254
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4011012 .282
2B - David DeJesus (10, Feldman), Mitch Maier (2, Feldman), Yuniesky Betancourt (4, Feldman)
HR - Mike Aviles (2, Feldman)
RBI - Mike Aviles (2), Mitch Maier 2 (10), Yuniesky Betancourt (9)
2-OUT RBI - Mitch Maier 2 (5)
CS - Mike Aviles (1, 2nd base by Mathis/M. Ramirez)
Team LOB - 5
Outfield Assists - David DeJesus 1
E - Robinson Tejeda (1, Throwing)
Kansas City Royals
Luke Hochevar 2.2344410 5.65
Brad Thompson (L,0-2) 2411120 2.79
Robinson Tejeda 3.1310020 5.59
HBP - Kinsler (by Luke Hochevar)
Pitches-Strikes - Luke Hochevar 71-43, Brad Thompson 45-29, Robinson Tejeda 53-39
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luke Hochevar 3-3, Brad Thompson 2-2, Robinson Tejeda 1-6
Batters Faced - Luke Hochevar 15, Brad Thompson 11, Robinson Tejeda 12
Texas Rangers
Elvis Andrus, SS3210100 .298
Michael Young, 3B3021212 .277
Josh Hamilton, LF4101014 .277
Vladimir Guerrero, DH3001022 .339
Ian Kinsler, 2B2100110 .324
David Murphy, RF4132000 .229
Justin Smoak, 1B4010002 .196
Max Ramirez, C2011101 .222
    Matt Treanor, C1000000 .197
Julio Borbon, CF4120002 .206
2B - David Murphy (8, Hochevar), Max Ramirez (1, Thompson)
SF - Vladimir Guerrero (4)
SH - Elvis Andrus (6)
RBI - Michael Young (18), Josh Hamilton (19), Vladimir Guerrero (26), David Murphy 2 (13), Max Ramirez (1)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Young (6), David Murphy 2 (5), Max Ramirez (1)
SB - Josh Hamilton (3, 3rd base off Hochevar/Kendall), Ian Kinsler (2, 2nd base off Hochevar/Kendall)
CS - Ian Kinsler (1, 3rd base by Hochevar/Kendall)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Young-Kinsler-Smoak
Texas Rangers
Scott Feldman 4644241 5.84
Doug Mathis (W,1-0) 2200100 3.60
Darren Oliver (H,3) 1000010 2.25
Darren O'Day (H,6) 1000000 0.00
Neftali Feliz (S,9) 1000000 3.78
WP - Scott Feldman (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Feldman 100-66, Doug Mathis 27-14, Darren Oliver 15-11, Darren O'Day 5-4, Neftali Feliz 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Feldman 3-5, Doug Mathis 2-2, Darren Oliver 2-0, Darren O'Day 3-0
Batters Faced - Scott Feldman 20, Doug Mathis 7, Darren Oliver 3, Darren O'Day 3, Neftali Feliz 3
Game Information
Attendance - 25476
Game Time - 3:13
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Mark Carlson