Bats back Gallardo's gem; Rangers take series lead

Bats back Gallardo's gem; Rangers take series lead

ARLINGTON -- Yovani Gallardo ended a personal four-game losing streak in pitching the Rangers to a 5-2 victory over the Royals on Wednesday night.

Gallardo held the Royals to two runs in seven innings for his first win since April 17. Home runs by Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder helped the Rangers take a 4-0 lead after just two innings against Royals starter Yordano Ventura, who took his third straight loss.

Gallardo picks up third win

"This is a veteran guy who knows how to pitch with a lead," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of Gallardo. "He knows it's time to throw strikes, expand when you need to do so but get ahead. A real nice job by Yovani tonight."

Gallardo took a three-hit shutout into the seventh before the Royals scored two on a leadoff single by Lorenzo Cain, a one-out double by Kendrys Morales and a two-out double by Salvador Perez.

Banister on Gallardo in 5-2 win

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Fielder delivers: The Rangers, leading 2-0, began the second inning with singles by Delino DeShields and Choo that put runners at the corners. Elvis Andrus then grounded into a double play that kept DeShields on third. But Fielder kept the opportunity from being wasted by hitting a two-run home run off of Ventura.

Ventura gets through seven: The way Ventura's night started, it sure didn't appear that he would pitch seven innings. He allowed the first five Rangers he faced to reach base, starting with Choo's homer, which had the Kansas City bullpen stirring in the bottom of the first. Ventura did settle down in the middle innings, getting three ground-ball outs in a perfect fifth and striking out Carlos Peguero for the third time on the night in a 1-2-3 sixth. Ventura allowed a career-high 10 hits. More >

"I thought he did a nice job of containing the damage and keeping us in there," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I thought he came out and had all kinds of intensity. I was real pleased with it. He came out and competed."

Royals' one-inning uprising: The Royals weren't able to do much against Gallardo, finishing with six hits against him in seven innings. Three of the hits came in the top of the seventh, when the Royals were able to get the tying run on deck. Cain had a leadoff single and later scored on Morales' RBI double. After Alex Gordon grounded out to first, Perez ripped an RBI double to cut the lead to 5-2. Omar Infante, who went 0 for 3 on the night, ended the threat with a grounder to third.

Perez's RBI double

DeShields has rare night: DeShields had three plate appearances on Wednesday night, finishing with a single, double and a triple, but he did not get a fourth plate appearance to go for the cycle. He is the first Rangers player in history to have three hits in three plate appearances, including a double and a triple, without getting a chance to hit a home run for the cycle.

DeShields' triple

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Choo hit a home run to lead off the first inning for the second straight day. It is the fourth time in club history that has happened. The last was by Ian Kinsler on April 1-2, 2011. Mike Hargrove led off two consecutive games with a home run in August 1977 and Oddibe McDowell did so in July 1985. Choo has 16 career home runs to lead off a game, all coming since the beginning of the 2012 season. That's the most in the Major Leagues over the past four seasons. More >

Choo's solo shot

WHAT'S NEXT
Royals: Jeremy Guthrie gets the start in the final game of a four-game series against the Rangers at 1:05 p.m. (CT) Thursday. Guthrie gave the Royals rotation a lift Saturday in Detroit, allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. Guthrie is 5-4 with with a 3.40 ERA against Texas.

Rangers: Left-hander Ross Detwiler looks for his first win when he pitches against the Royals at 1:05 p.m. Thursday. The Rangers are 3-5 in day games.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.