The Texas Rangers appear to be back on track offensively. Staying that way could prove to be a challenge against one of the toughest starters in the league.
Since totaling 10 runs during a three-game losing streak, Texas (34-20) has scored 16 in the past two contests.
Nelson Cruz hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the third inning of Friday's 7-2 win over the Royals (22-30), who had played until 3:14 a.m. Central Time at St. Louis a night earlier."The offense is going to do their part as long as I do mine," winning pitcher Derek Holland said. "And our guys came back and did what they're capable of doing, get some runs."
Adrian Beltre went 4 for 4 with his 11th homer and is hitting .413 with five homers and 16 RBIs in his past 18 games. The third baseman, however, is 9 for 39 (.231) with 17 strikeouts against Shields (2-6, 2.96 ERA), though four of his hits in the matchup went for extra bases.
Shields has lost four straight starts, receiving seven runs of support in that span. The right-hander posted a 2.35 ERA in the first three losses before turning in his worst outing of the season Monday, allowing six runs and five walks in six innings of a 6-3 defeat to St. Louis.
The Royals have scored three or fewer runs for him in nine of his 11 starts."I don't care about run support," Shields said after his latest start. "I care about my pitching. I didn't do my job and it resulted in an `L'."
Shields is 7-3 with a 2.78 ERA in 11 career starts against the Rangers. He's given up one run in 16 innings while striking out 16 over his last two matchups, going 1-1.
Elvis Andrus , however, is 11 for 23 with four extra-base hits off of Shields.
The Rangers' Nick Tepesch (3-4, 3.88) will make his first career start against the Royals. Since allowing 11 runs over 10 2-3 innings in losing back-to-back starts, Tepesch has gone 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in three outings.
He yielded two runs in 5 2-3 innings of a 4-3, 13-inning loss at Seattle on Sunday.
Tepesch will be facing a Kansas City team that's averaged 2.2 runs while losing nine of 10.
"That's part of the reason we've been struggling a little bit," manager Ned Yost said.
Alex Gordon , the team's leading hitter at .329, went 0 for 4 in the opener and is batting .206 with one extra-base hit over his last nine games.
|Kansas City Royals|
|May 16, 2013||Jarrod Dyson||15-Day DL||Right ankle sprain|
|March 31, 2013||Danny Duffy||15-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
|February 12, 2013||Felipe Paulino||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|May 18, 2013||Ian Kinsler||15-Day DL||Right intercostal strain|
|May 16, 2013||Alexi Ogando||15-Day DL||Right biceps tendinitis|
|May 06, 2013||A.J. Pierzynski||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|May 06, 2013||A.J. Pierzynski||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|April 20, 2013||Nick Tepesch||Day-to-Day||Left game - right arm bruise|
|April 11, 2013||Justin Miller||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- David Lough was willing to endure a little pain to help the Kansas City Royals win.
Robbie Ross hit Lough with a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning, and the Royals beat the Texas Rangers 4-1 Saturday.
Lough thought he had a broken right wrist when he left the game after getting plunked. His fears worsened when he couldn't move his fingers for about 20 minutes.
Lough was finally able to enjoy the three-run 10th inning that lifted the Royals to only their second win in 11 games.
"I had the X-rays and a lot of strength came back in my arm after that," Lough said. "I'm glad we got the win more than anything."
Ross (2-1) had only allowed one run in 24-1-3 innings this season before Saturday.
The left-hander gave up a leadoff single to Alcides Escobar in the 10th. Eric Hosmer followed with a single and Billy Butler was intentionally walked to load the bases. Ross struck out Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain before Lough came up. Lough was hit on a 2-1 pitch to force in the go-ahead run.
That snapped Ross' scoring streak at 20 1-3 innings.
"Stuff is going to happen no matter what," Ross said. "I have to bounce back and get back to helping the team win."
Lough left the game after getting plunked with a fastball in the right arm. The rookie outfielder tried to stay in the game but slowly walked off the field in obvious pain as he was replaced by pinch-runner Jeff Francoeur .
George Kottaras , who entered the game in the ninth inning, lined a two-run double over the head of Nelson Cruz in right.
The Royals had only scored 22 runs in their past 10 games and were 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position before Kottaras broke the game open.
"It was a big win," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "(Ross) is one of their guys who has been throwing good."
Aaron Crow (1-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief and Greg Holland worked a perfect 10th for his ninth save in 11 chances.
The Rangers had runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth but Crow retired Jurickson Profar on a foul pop to end the threat.
James Shields , who had lost his last four starts, allowed one run in seven innings as he looked to win for the first time since April 30. He gave up five hits, struck out five and walked one.
In Shields' previous four starts, the Royals had only scored seven runs behind him.
"I don't care about run support as much as winning the game," Shields said. "I've got to do a better job pitching."
Nick Tepesch made his first career start against his hometown team and allowed an unearned run in 6 1-3 innings. The rookie gave up seven hits and struck out two.
Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre left the game after the ninth inning with tightness in his left hamstring. Beltre was injured running the bases in the fourth.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said Beltre is day to day.
Texas designated hitter Lance Berkman was ejected for arguing a called third strike in the first inning.
Berkman took a 2-2 pitch from Shields that home plate umpire Todd Tichenor ruled was a third strike.
The Rangers' first-year designated hitter was tossed from the game after a brief argument with Tichenor.
"I didn't think I said or did anything that would warrant the ejection," Berkman said "But he obviously felt different."
Shields retired 10 in a row before the Rangers scored in the fourth.
Beltre and Cruz singled with two outs. Mitch Moreland then lofted a soft single to center that scored Beltre and put the Rangers ahead 1-0.
Tepesch grew up in Blue Springs, Mo., about 15 minutes from Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium. The right-hander needed only eight pitches to retire the side in the first and recorded nine groundball outs through four innings.
Kansas City tied the game in the fifth when Lough singled with one out and scored on A.J. Pierzynski's passed ball.
NOTES: Washington said Alexi Ogando (right biceps tendinitis) will throw a bullpen session Sunday. The right-hander allowed two unearned runs in a rehab start for Double-A Frisco on Friday night. Washington said the team will make the decision whether to activate Ogando after the bullpen session. . Kansas City LHP Danny Duffy , who underwent Tommy John surgery last June 13, and made his second rehab start for Double-A Arkansas Friday and gave up two runs in 3 2-3 innings. Yost said there's no timetable for his return. . Former President George W. Bush had a front row seat near the Texas dugout.