Butler, Willingham power Royals past Rangers
Arlington, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Billy Butler and Josh Willingham hit solo home runs to back six innings from Yordano Ventura in Kansas City's 6-3 win over the Texas Rangers.
Lorenzo Cain had three hits and an RBI for the AL Central leaders, who have won seven of their last nine games. The Royals opened a 2 1/2 game lead on Detroit atop the division.
Ventura (10-9) surrendered four hits and a run, walked three and struck out six in the opener of this three-game series.
Adrian Beltre had a pair of hits and an RBI for the Rangers, who have dropped six of their last eight contests.
Colby Lewis (8-11) yielded six hits and four runs over six innings. He fell to 2-8 at home this season.
Elvis Andrus scored on Beltre's groundout in the opening inning, but the Royals plated three in the second. Butler homered to left field to start the frame. Willingham was hit by a pitch with one out and Mike Moustakas, Cain and Alcides Escobar all singled in succession to move the Royals ahead.
Willingham went deep to left center in the fourth and Mike Carp's fielding error scored Cain in the seventh for a 5-1 cushion.
Pinch-hitter Dan Robertson doubled in a run in the home seventh. He scored later in the frame on a grounder from Alex Rios.
Salvador Perez beat out a potential double-play grounder to plate Jarrod Dyson in the top of the ninth and Greg Holland closed the door in the bottom portion for his 40th save.
"It feels good. I've gotten a lot of opportunities because we have progressed," said Holland on his save. "It translates into more wins."
The Rangers came into this series 2-11-3 in their last 16 home sets ... Kansas City is one of only two AL clubs Lewis has not beaten since coming back to the Texas rotation in 2010 (also Minnesota) ... The Rangers went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
08/23 02:00:40 ET