Rangers 11, Royals 6
Jeff Francis had been off to a strong start for the Kansas City
Then the 30-year-old lefthander ran into the Texas Rangers.
Francis gave up six runs and nine hits in four-plus innings on
Friday night as the Rangers beat the Royals 11-6.
Francis (0-2) had gone at least 6 1-3 innings and allowed no
more than three runs in each of his first four starts after signing
with the Royals as a free agent in January.
But the Rangers took advantage of a howling wind blowing out to
right, with Mike Napoli and Ian Kinsler homering off Francis, who
was lifted after one batter in the fifth.
”It’s a bad place to leave balls up,” Francis said. ”When I
leave balls up, no matter where I pitch, it’s not what I want to
do. I want to get guys to hit the ball on the ground. I didn’t do a
good job of pitching. I don’t think I did too many things well
Francis pitched for the Colorado Rockies, so he knows what it’s
like to compete in a hitter’s park.
He had few answers for a Rangers lineup that had been hurting
since reigning AL MVP Josh Hamilton was lost for as long as two
months due to a broken right shoulder.
”I pitched in Colorado for six years. I’ve pitched here for two
hours,” Francis said. ”There are nights when the wind blows out
in Colorado too, but if a pitcher goes out and makes his pitch,
you’ll do OK.”
Royals manager Ned Yost knew his team would struggle in a
slugfest against the Rangers.
”They were much more proficient at utilizing the jet stream
than we were,” Yost said. ”They actually hit a couple of good
pitches. We just got a couple up. They’re a tremendous fly
ball-hitting team with a lot of pop, a lot of power.
”They hit some good pitches, but (Francis) wasn’t as sharp as
he has been. He battled out there. He was working hard to try to
keep the ball down and hit his spots.”
David Murphy, Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland went deep against
the Royals bullpen and Kansas City lost for the fourth time in six
Texas had four homers over its previous nine games before
breaking out. The Rangers hadn’t hit five in a game since May 12,
Kinsler’s two-out solo shot in the fourth put the Rangers ahead
for good after the Royals tied it with five runs in the top
Murphy’s two-run blast in the fifth made it 8-5, and Beltre went
deep with the bases empty in the sixth to give Texas a four-run
Moreland added a two-run homer in the seventh to complete the
Texas starter Derek Holland (3-1) struck out nine and gave up
five runs and seven hits over seven innings.
Brayan Pena homered for the Royals.
Young extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a
first-inning RBI single.
In the third, Young’s run-scoring triple off the center field
wall, Beltre’s RBI double, and Napoli’s two-run shot made it
The Royals answered with their five-run fourth highlighted by
Pena’s three-run blast.
Also in the fourth, Jeff Francoeur extended his hitting streak
to 12 games with an RBI double, and Wilson Betemit stretched his
streak to 13 games with a run-scoring single.
Kansas City threatened in the third with runners on first and
third and one out. Melky Cabrera hit a grounder to second, and
Kinsler threw to second to force Chris Getz.
The relay to first by shortstop Elvis Andrus was wild, but
Cabrera was called out because Getz veered out of the baseline
while sliding into Andrus in an attempt to break up the double
Notes: Kansas City’s Alex Gordon pushed his career-best hitting
streak to 16 games with an infield single in the fourth. …
Francoeur and C Matt Treanor received their AL championship rings
from Texas manager Ron Washington on the field prior to the game.
”Francoeur brought a lot of energy, kept the bench loose, and when
he got out there against left-handers he produced,” Washington
said. ”Matt was certainly an integral part of our club. They did a
lot for us and right now they’re doing a lot for Kansas City.”