EditorsNote: rewords fifth graf, adds new ninth graf
Jason Hammel struck out a season-high 10 and turned in one of his better performances as the Kansas City Royals beat the Texas Rangers 5-3 on Sunday afternoon in Arlington, Texas.
The Royals won the first and last game in the four-game series to earn a split. Kansas City returns home for a week of games beginning Monday with a three-game set against the Minnesota Twins.
It didn’t take long for the Royals to get going in the finale at Texas. The visitors roughed up Rangers ace Cole Hamels for five runs through the first three innings to take control.
Hunter Dozier’s two-out single in the first plated Jon Jay and Jorge Soler to give Kansas City an early 2-0 lead. The Royals added to their advantage with home runs off Hamels in the next two innings. Drew Butera drilled a solo shot in the third, and Salvador Perez belted a two-run blast in the next frame.
Hammel (2-5) was the beneficiary of the early run support. The right-hander worked 5 1/3 innings of shutout baseball, reaching double digits in strikeouts for the first time this season. He yielded four hits and two walks.
Hammel has now won back-to-back starts after opening the year 0-5. He has allowed just one run in those two outings over 12 1/3 innings, striking out 16 and issuing just two walks.
Hamels (3-5) did manage to get through 6 1/3 innings. The veteran lefty gave up eight hits and three walks to go with two strikeouts.
The Rangers avoided their second shutout out of the season with three runs in the seventh off reliever Eric Stout. Joey Gallo and Robinson Chirinos each homered in the inning, with the catcher hitting a two-run shot.
Kelvin Herrera tossed a scoreless ninth inning for his 11th save.
Texas completed its homestand with a 4-3 record. The Rangers embark on a seven-game road trip starting Monday with the first of four in Seattle.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister announced before the game that Austin Bibens-Dirkx would make another start Tuesday with Matt Moore coming off the disabled list to start Wednesday at Seattle.
The Royals are giving rookie righty Brad Keller a spot in the rotation while Eric Skoglund is on the DL.
—Field Level Media