Kansas City Royals (72-56) at Texas Rangers (49-79), 3:05 p.m. (ET)
08/24/2014 9:35 AM
08/24/2014 9:37 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - The surprising Kansas City Royals continue their magical run Sunday afternoon as they aim for the three-game sweep against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
The Royals, who are three games up on Detroit for first place in the American League Central, have won two straight and five of the last six, thanks to another 6-3 victory on Saturday against the Rangers. In the month of August the team has been simply extraordinary, posting a 17-4 record to this point.
Last night Jarrod Dyson knocked in three runs for the visitors and Omar Infante plated a pair as they moved 11 games over .500 on the road. Alex Gordon, the second overall pick in the 2005 amateur draft, added a solo home run, his 15th of the season.
Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie evened his record at 10-10 as he worked his way through eight innings, allowing just a single run on five hits and a walk, striking out two along the way.
"It's been a good month," Guthrie said. "I'd take two more of them."
Guthrie's counterpart, Nick Tepesch, was saddled with the loss after being knocked around for six runs on seven hits and three walks through 6 1/3 innings. Now just 4-8 on the season for the Rangers, a team which is a distant 27 games out of contention in the AL West, Tepesch looked strong through the first four innings but then hit a rough patch in the fifth.
"I couldn't find it. It was one of those bad innings I guess," Tepesch said. "I felt like I was a little all over the place all night. I think that inning was the worst of it obviously. But I was constantly trying to find my lanes and that inning, it was just one of those things where I really struggled to find it."
Offensively, the Rangers were led by Leonys Martin, who had two hits and two runs knocked in. Shin-Soo Choo accounted for the only other run on his 13th home run of the season in the bottom of the first inning.
Adrian Beltre accounted for two hits as well, raising his average on the season to .325 in the process.
Left-hander Jason Vargas aims for his third win in as many outings when he takes the mound for the Royals this afternoon in Arlington. The California native, who is on with his third team in as many seasons and fifth overall since joining the major leagues in 2005, last pitched on Monday against Minnesota where he picked up his 10th victory of the campaign.
Versus Twins hitters, Vargas allowed just a single run on four hits and a walk, striking out three over seven innings.
As someone who has spent the bulk of his career in the American League, Vargas has faced Texas 19 times previously but has a record of just 4-7 and an ERA of 4.35 to show for his efforts.
Countering for the Rangers today will be right-hander Scott Baker. A nine-year veteran who played the first seven seasons with Minnesota, Baker hasn't pitched since going up against Tampa Bay in a relief role back on Aug. 12. In that appearance the Oklahoma State product lasted two innings, giving up one hit and striking out one as he logged his first victory of the season.
For his career, Baker is 8-4 with a 3.41 ERA in 16 all-time outings against the Royals.