ARLINGTON -- In a 13-12 slugfest that the Royals lost on Thursday night to the Rangers, the clearcut pitching star was Robinson Tejeda.
Tejeda retired all five Rangers he faced in the seventh and eighth innings. And last Saturday at Tampa Bay, he worked three scoreless innings to get the victory followed by two more scoreless innings on Wednesday at Chicago.
Coincidentally, he's cut down on bases on balls. In his first 10 games Tejeda walked 11 in 8 1/3 innings and his ERA was 12.96. In his last five games, through Thursday, he'd walked just two in 7 2/3 innings and not given up an earned run.
"The last couple of outings, he's been more consistent," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "And the thing he's done is he hasn't gone to any 2-0 counts. If he goes 1-0, he gets back in the count and more often than not, he's been throwing strike one.
"We were talking the other day in Chicago about the importance of getting strike one and it's even more magnified out of the bullpen at times because of the high-leverage situations closer to the end of the game."