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 Hamilton.
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 Orioles.
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 frames.
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 Royals.
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