American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, May 14th
(All times Eastern)
Kansas City Royals (13-20) at Texas Rangers (23-12), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - Bruce Chen (1-4, 4.83)
Texas - Scott Feldman (0-0, 4.35)
(Sports Network) - It was a week to remember for Rangers' outfielder Josh
Baseball's hottest slugger next takes his swings at the Royals and starter
Bruce Chen as Texas and Kansas City open a two-game series in Arlington.
Hamilton hit .467 in seven games last week with nine homers and 18 runs batted
in, a span that included a four-homer, eight-RBI game on Tuesday. The former
MVP has hit in 13 straight games overall and leads the majors with a .402
average, 18 homers and 44 RBI.
Hamilton drove in another three runs in Sunday night's 13-6 statement victory
over the Angels, with Nelson Cruz adding a grand slam as part of a four-hit
night. Cruz finished a triple shy of the cycle, while Adrian Beltre also drove
in two runs.
"Every night someone steps up ... or a lot of us (do), which is a good thing
to be able to say as a team," said Hamilton.
Neftali Feliz allowed two runs on four hits over six innings to earn the win,
Texas' fifth in seven games.
Hamilton is a career .221 hitter with three homers and 18 RBI in 24 games
versus the Royals and has just one career at-bat against Chen, who is looking
to build off his first victory of the season.
The 34-year-old lefty had lost four straight starts, giving up 12 runs in his
previous two outings, before beating Boston on Wednesday. He pitched 6 2/3
innings, allowing three runs on seven hits without a walk. Chen also struck
out five in the 4-3 win.
"You could tell from the first inning on that he was on his game," said Kansas
City manager Ned Yost. "He was executing, his stuff was good, you could tell
it was gonna be a good game."
Chen is 1-4 with a 4.83 earned run average in seven starts, with the Royals
going just 1-6 in his outings.
Chen is just 1-2 with a 10.58 ERA in eight career games against the Rangers,
including four starts, and hasn't beaten them since 2005 while with the
Kansas City hopes Chen can find the win column again tonight, which would give
the club its third straight win after taking the final two meetings over the
weekend with the White Sox.
The Royals bounced back from Friday's shutout loss with a 5-0 victory on
Saturday, then won the following day by a 9-1 margin. Johnny Giavotella hit a
go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh inning and Jeff Francoeur homered in
Kansas City's fourth win in five games.
Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer, Irving Falu and Alcides Escobar picked up an RBI
each in a six-run ninth for the Royals, who got 5 2/3 innings of one-run
relief from Luis Mendoza after starter Danny Duffy left after recording two
outs due to elbow tightness.
"I just went out there and threw ... I have to build that confidence," said
Mendoza. "My last three appearances were good and helped built it up."
Third baseman Mike Moustakas did not play for a second straight game because
of a sore left hamstring, but is expected to be in the lineup for this game
against Rangers' spot starter Scott Feldman.
Texas is giving the right-hander his second start of the season, and first
since April 25, due to last Thursday's doubleheader. Feldman faced the Yankees
in his only other start this season, giving up two runs on six hits over 3 1/3
Feldman, 29, has posted a 4.35 ERA in six total appearances this year without
a decision and is 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA in 11 meetings (4 starts) with the
The Rangers have won 13 of their past 17 versus the Royals, going 9-1 at home
in that span.
05/14 10:50:25 ET