Kansas City at Texas

Scoreboard
Kansas City (22-30)001001000290
Texas (34-20) «00400210x7141

Cruz homer sparks Rangers over Royals

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers were unbeatable in May with Derek Holland on the mound.

While Yu Darvish is still the Texas ace, Holland struck out eight and allowed only one earned run over seven innings to wrap up his undefeated month in a 7-2 victory over the weary Kansas City Royals on Friday night.

"He's certainly pitching well. He was outstanding again," manager Ron Washington said. "Once again, he stayed out of the fat part of the plate, and off the fat part of the bat for the most part. If Yu Darvish wasn't on the staff we have right now, I guess you'd say Derek would probably be the ace."

Holland (5-2) went 4-0 with a 2.31 ERA in six May starts, matching a career best for wins in any month. The Rangers, who have the best record in the American League, won all six of those games started by the left-hander.

After Holland gave up a run in the top of the third against the Royals, Nelson Cruz hit a long tiebreaking three-run homer in the bottom of the inning to put Texas ahead to stay.

"The offense is going to do their part as long as I do mine," Holland said. "My job is to limit the damage. I thought I did a nice job of that. And our guys came back and did what they're capable of doing, get some runs."

The Royals, after playing until 3:14 a.m. Friday for a victory at St. Louis, led 1-0 after Adam Moore led off the third with a double and scored on a single by Alcides Escobar. They still had two runners on before a comebacker and an inning-ending grounder.

"That's part of the reason we've been struggling a little bit. You get second and third with one out and we take the lead, have an opportunity to tack some more on, and we just couldn't," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said.

"They're giving us a run, they're playing the infield back and we couldn't take advantage of it, we hit the ball to the pitcher and we can't get a two-out hit. ... That's the way things have been going."

The Royals finished 8-20 in May, losing nine of their last 10 games.

Cruz pulled a ball an estimated 419 feet, his 13th homer hitting a scoreboard high above the first section of seats in left field, to make it 4-1 against Wade Davis (3-5).

"It's just a weird day, it was a weird day," Davis said. "I was a little sluggish, but I made good pitches, I just made one bad one."

Adrian Beltre led off the Rangers seventh off the Royals second reliever with his 11th homer, his fourth hit of the game. It was his fourth four-hit game this season -- all in May, the first Texas player with four such games in a month. He had 44 hits in May and is hitting .306, over .300 for the first time this season.

Beltre's eight-game hitting streak includes multiple hits in five of his past seven games. He had an RBI single right before the Cruz homer.

"When you see Adrian recognize a breaking ball and go down to his knee and it leaves the ballpark, you know he's swinging the bat well," Washington said.

The Rangers (34-20) have played exactly one-third of their regular season, and matched their most wins at this point.

Kansas City had an eight-game losing streak before the win over the Cardinals. That game started an hour late because of rain, and then had another 4 1/2-hour delay after the Royals took the lead with three runs in the top of the ninth in George Brett's first game as their hitting coach.

The Royals got to their Texas hotel about 7 a.m. Friday -- right fielder Jeff Francoeur said the sun was coming up and people were already having breakfast as team members headed to their rooms.

Davis had a season-high eight strikeouts with no walks in what was otherwise another tough start against Texas, giving up six runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 17.18 ERA in three starts against the Rangers. He twice started for Tampa Bay against them, giving up seven runs in 2 2-3 innings and then eight runs in 3 1-3 innings.

The last batter Davis faced was A.J. Pierzynski, who hit a ball that ricocheted off the padding on the top of the 8-foot wall in straightaway center.

Pierzynski rounded first base with his right hand extended above his head signaling home run. Washington went out to question the play with the umpires, who did go look at the replay that showed clearly that the ball stayed in the park.

After reliever Bruce Chen walked Jurickson Profar to load the bases, No. 9 hitter Leonys Martin hit a two-run double.

Notes

  • Rangers RHP Alexi Ogando pitched six innings, allowing two unearned runs, in a rehab start for Double-A Frisco. He went on the 15-day disabled list May 16 with right biceps tendinitis. He could rejoin the Rangers next week.
 
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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Nelson Cruz breaks a third-inning tie with a three-run homer as the Rangers cruise to victory.  (USATSI)
Nelson Cruz breaks a third-inning tie with a three-run homer as the Rangers cruise to victory. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Texas

A. Beltre
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 1
RBI 2
Texas

D. Holland
IP 7.0
H 8
ER 1
BB 1
K 8
 

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Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alex Gordon, LF4000034 .329
Alcides Escobar, SS4021000 .253
Lorenzo Cain, CF4010003 .282
Billy Butler, DH4110013 .261
Eric Hosmer, 1B4011011 .261
Miguel Tejada, 3B3010001 .286
   a- Mike Moustakas, PH1000000 .183
Jeff Francoeur, RF3000021 .218
   b- David Lough, PH1000000 .294
Adam Moore, C3110120 .143
Chris Getz, 2B3020001 .216
Totals3429219  
a-grounded out for Tejada in the 9th
b-flied out for Francoeur in the 9th
Batting
2B - Adam Moore (1, Holland)
RBI - Alcides Escobar (19), Eric Hosmer (16)
2-OUT RBI - Eric Hosmer (7)
SB - Chris Getz (3, 2nd base off Holland/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Escobar-Getz-Hosmer
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Wade Davis (L,3-5) 51066081 6.16
Bruce Chen 1100200 1.47
Luke Hochevar 2311021 3.05
IBB - Andrus by Bruce Chen
Pitches-Strikes - Wade Davis 105-67, Bruce Chen 21-10, Luke Hochevar 36-25
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wade Davis 6-1, Bruce Chen 2-0, Luke Hochevar 3-1
Batters Faced - Wade Davis 25, Bruce Chen 5, Luke Hochevar 9
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Elvis Andrus, SS4000121 .265
David Murphy, LF5120013 .229
Lance Berkman, DH5120012 .288
Adrian Beltre, 3B4242000 .306
Nelson Cruz, RF4113023 .262
Mitch Moreland, 1B4110010 .285
A.J. Pierzynski, C4120000 .281
Jurickson Profar, 2B3000111 .333
Leonys Martin, CF4022020 .288
Totals377147210  
Batting
2B - David Murphy (8, Hochevar), A.J. Pierzynski (2, Davis), Leonys Martin (3, Chen)
HR - Adrian Beltre (11, Hochevar), Nelson Cruz (13, Davis)
RBI - Adrian Beltre 2 (34), Nelson Cruz 3 (39), Leonys Martin 2 (9)
2-OUT RBI - Adrian Beltre (14), Nelson Cruz 3 (20)
SB - Leonys Martin (7, 2nd base off Davis/Moore)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Beltre-Profar-Moreland, Andrus-Profar-Moreland
E - David Murphy (2, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Derek Holland (W,5-2) 7821180 2.81
Tanner Scheppers 1100000 0.68
Joe Nathan 1000010 2.11
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Holland 104-73, Tanner Scheppers 15-9, Joe Nathan 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Holland 9-2, Tanner Scheppers 2-1, Joe Nathan 1-1
Batters Faced - Derek Holland 28, Tanner Scheppers 4, Joe Nathan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37765
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Dale Scott