Royals end dismal July with 5-3 loss and sweep to Rangers

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(ARLINGTON, Texas, AP) — A forgettable weekend series ended a forgettable month for the Kansas City Royals.

Mitch Moreland homered for the fifth time in his last five starts and Lucas Harrell won in his Texas debut as the Rangers beat the Royals 5-3 on Sunday to finish a sweep of the four-game series.
Eric Hosmer and Drew Butera homered for Kansas City, which has lost eight of its last nine games and 10 of its last 11 road games. The defending World Series champions went 7-19 in July, their worst month since recording the same record in July 2012, and haven’t won consecutive games since June 29-30.
“We take probably the last couple of weeks and try to forget that,” Hosmer said. “Times are rough. … Everyone’s doing what they need to do to try to win. It’s just not happening.”
Dillon Gee (3-5) gave up two-run homers to Moreland and Nomar Mazara and allowed seven hits over six innings in his longest start of the season. He had a 6.43 ERA in six previous starts.
“Made a couple mistakes that they obviously capitalized on,” said Gee, who pitched collegiately at Texas-Arlington and makes his off-season home in nearby Fort Worth. He said he went to the well, too often on Mazara, with a curveball that had previously fooled him. Gee said the scouting report on Moreland was to pitch him down and in. Moreland sent such a cutter just inside the right-field foul pole.
“Seems like now he’s changed his approach a little bit,” Gee said.
Moreland was 8 for 13 with four homers in the series, including a walk-off winner on Saturday night.
“I’m trying to go up there and have good at-bats,” he said. “It definitely worked out well for me this series.”
The Royals hit 2 for 25 with runners in scoring position during the sweep. Their 17-36 road record is the worst in the majors and is only one loss short of last season’s total.
Kansas City’s 12-game deficit in the American League Central is its largest since closing the 2012 season 16 games out.
“Just waiting for it to pick up,” manager Ned Yost said. “Effort’s not the issue. It’s the production.”
Before the game, the Royals placed closer Wade Davis on the 15-day disabled list with what Yost called a mild flexor strain. Yost said it’s the same injury that sent Davis, who has converted 21 of 23 save opportunities this season, to the DL in early July.
“Hopefully he’ll be back around the end of the 15 days,” Yost said.
Hosmer’s first-inning home run was an opposite-field shot that struck low off the left-field foul pole 332 feet away. He couldn’t recall hitting the opposite foul pole in his career.
Later, his bat snapped on a foul tip and flew into the stands, leaving him holding only the knob.
“I barely touched the ball,” Hosmer said. “I guess the bat was due to go at some point. It was one of the weirder feelings I’ve ever had.”
The temperature was 96 degrees at first pitch and reached 99. … Rangers manager Jeff Banister gave CF Ian Desmond and SS Elvis Andrus the day off ahead of Monday’s travel day. … The Royals released Triple-A Omaha OF Travis Snider. He hit a combined .232 last season playing 87 games for Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
With Davis put on the DL, LHP Matt Strahm was brought up from Double-A Northwest Arkansas and made his major league debut. He faced three batters and allowed one earned run. … Rangers RF Shin-Soo Choo (back) did rehab work Sunday for the second straight day and reported no discomfort. He hopes to be ready when eligible for re-activation on Thursday.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (6-1) will start the series opener at Tampa Bay on Monday. Duffy has five wins and four no-decisions in his last nine starts, most recently losing on June 6.
Texas: RHP Yu Darvish (2-2) will make his seventh start since starting his season in late May following Tommy John surgery when the Rangers open a series at Baltimore on Tuesday. Both losses have come since returning from the disabled list on July 16 following shoulder discomfort.
This version has been corrected to show the Royals were 2 for 25 with runners in scoring position for the series.