Rangers-Royals Preview

Vladimir Guerrero is having an outstanding month for the Texas

Rangers, and the Kansas City Royals have been his biggest

victim.

Guerrero and the Rangers look to remain unbeaten against the

Royals this season as the teams wrap up a two-game set Wednesday

afternoon.

An 8-7 win Tuesday night gave AL West-leading Texas (26-20) a

5-0 record against Kansas City (18-28) this year, largely the

result of averaging 6.8 runs and batting .317 in those

meetings.

Much of that production has come from Guerrero, who hit two

homers and drove in five Tuesday. The eight-time All-Star is

batting .444 with five home runs and 12 RBIs in the season series

with the Royals.

“It’s unbelievable to watch,” teammate Josh Hamilton said.

“Everybody is kind of in awe.”

Guerrero’s success against Kansas City has highlighted his

outstanding May. Ten of the veteran slugger’s 12 homers have come

in 20 games since May 4. He’s batting .366 with 29 RBIs during that

stretch.

“I really didn’t have any expectations,” Guerrero said through

an interpreter. “The key is staying healthy. If I’m healthy I can

do some things.”

Hamilton added a solo homer Tuesday, giving him six RBIs against

the Royals this season. Hamilton is batting .393 (11 for 28) over

his last seven contests overall.

However, Hamilton is 0 for 5 with three strikeouts against Luke

Hochevar (4-2, 5.37 ERA), who is scheduled to take the mound

Wednesday for the Royals. Hochevar tossed his third career complete

game Thursday, surrendering three runs and four hits while striking

out seven in a 9-3 win over Cleveland.

The right-hander is still seeking his first win at home, as he’s

0-1 with a 3.92 ERA in three starts at Kauffman Stadium. He is 1-0

with a 5.59 ERA in two career starts against the Rangers.

Texas will give the ball to Scott Feldman (2-4, 5.90), who

continues to fail to live up to his status as the team’s

opening-day starter. He’s posted an 8.64 ERA while losing each of

his three road starts, and is 1-2 with a 7.40 ERA in his last four

outings overall.

The right-hander gave up four runs and a season-high 12 hits in

six innings Thursday night, but managed to get credit for a 13-7

victory over Baltimore.

Feldman is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in three career starts versus the

Royals.

Kansas City has lost three straight, but could be poised to end

its struggles against Feldman. The Royals have scored seven runs or

more in five of their last six games.

First baseman Billy Butler is batting .421 (16 for 38) with

seven RBIs over his last 10 games, raising his average from .324 to

.344, but he’s 2 for 13 (.154) against Feldman.

Kansas City may have to get by without starting shortstop

Yuniesky Betancourt, who had to leave Tuesday’s game after five

innings due to dizziness following a collision at the plate with

Texas catcher Matt Treanor in the third inning.

Second baseman Mike Aviles moved to shortstop, and Chris Getz

entered the game to join him in the middle infield.