Royals rock Rangers for fourth straight win

Royals rock Rangers for fourth straight win

Royals rock Rangers for fourth straight win
ARLINGTON -- How's four straight wins and a two-game sweep over the high-ridin' Texas Rangers sound?

Mighty good to the Royals, who got the drop on the Rangers, 7-4, on an 83-degree Tuesday night with 37,210 witnesses at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Royals have won six of the last seven games, and the four-game win streak is their longest of the season.

"When you win like this against some big teams, it's motivating," Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson said. "It let us know we can do it. Just don't count us out."

Since the Royals lost 12 straight games, lowering their record to 3-14, they've won 12 of 18 games. That adds up to a 15-20 record, just five games under .500.

Beating the Rangers, who are tied for the best record in the American League, added an extra boost for the Royals.

"Our confidence was pretty good coming in here," Yost said. "We lost 12 games in a row -- 10 of the 12 games were really good games, we just didn't win 'em. We were in those games, a hit away or a pitch away. We just couldn't win 'em. But from that point on, we've been playing pretty good baseball."

That was the case on Tuesday night, when Dyson began the game by banging a double off the right-field wall to ignite a four-run inning against Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis. The pitcher's own throwing error after fielding Eric Hosmer's tapper caused all four runs to be unearned.

All nine Royals batted in the first inning, with Jeff Francoeur doubling off the left-field wall, Brayan Pena smacking a two-out, two-run single and Chris Getz adding an RBI single.

Dyson led off the second inning with a single, went to second on Lewis' wild pickoff throw and scored another unearned run on Billy Butler's double. Mike Moustakas made it 6-0 by opening the third inning with his fifth homer, a drive down the right-field line.

Eric Hosmer, desperate for hits, got two, including an RBI double that finished off Lewis in the sixth.

"We did a great job at the plate and we definitely did a great job pitching tonight," Dyson said. "It's kind of tough to contain these guys at this park."

Ah, yes, the pitching. Vin Mazzaro, pressed into a start by injuries, went five innings and gave up three runs -- a solid performance considering he'd pitched just one inning since May 3.

"I was so pumped inside for this start. I felt pretty good, I felt strong," Mazzaro said. "It was probably eight or 10 days and I'd had one inning, but I was there mentally and physically I felt great."

Then the bullpen took over for four innings with just one glitch -- a solo homer by pinch-hitter Brandon Snyder off Jose Mijares in the ninth. In the last seven games, Royals relievers have given up just three earned runs in 26 innings (1.04 ERA) while piling up 29 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .178 (16-for-90) average.

"Every night, it's amazing," Mazzaro said. "Those guys come in and just attack the zone and get outs."

"That's the anchor," Moustakas said. "It's a tough 'pen to come back against."

Especially when Tim Collins, who pitched perfect sixth and seventh innings, struck out five of the six batters.

"We've been pretty strong in the bullpen. The starters, as of late, have been doing great, which has given us a little bit of a break, so we've been able to go out there and pitch to situations," Collins said. "But our plan all year has been to attack the zone and pitch to our strengths, and I think we've done that pretty well."

Aaron Crow followed with a perfect eighth inning, and Mijares got two outs in the ninth before Snyder connected. With Elvis Andrus coming up as a pinch-hitter, Yost decided to counter with right-hander Greg Holland, and he got the final out.

"This is a tough park to play in," Yost said. "These guys are the best offensive team in the American League. They're all long fly-ball hitters; it's a tailor-made park for them. To win two games here was big, because we couldn't do it last year."

The Royals were 1-5 last year at Texas.

Now the Royals, 11-7 on the road, will see about improving their woeful 4-13 mark at home in a five-game homestand -- two against Baltimore and three against Arizona.

Know what? If they'd sweep the homestand, they'd be all the way up to .500. Just sayin'.

"We're going to go home and take care of business," Dyson said.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.