Royals-Rangers Preview

The Texas Rangers have won six straight at home against the

Kansas City Royals. They have never lost when Kyle Davies has

started against them.

The Rangers will look to cause problems for Davies once again

Saturday night when this three-game series continues in

Arlington.

Texas (12-7) avoided its first three-game slide by hitting five

homers in an 11-6 victory Friday. The Rangers are batting .323 with

12 homers and 43 runs during this home streak against the Royals

(12-8).

It may not be too difficult at the plate against Davies (1-1,

7.20 ERA). His teams have dropped all seven games he’s started

against the Rangers, and he’s 0-4 with a 6.38 ERA in those contests

– 0-3 with a 9.27 ERA in five in Arlington.

Ian Kinsler is 6 for 14 against him and Michael Young 5 for

16.

Davies, however, turned in his best 2011 outing Monday against

Cleveland. He gave up a season-low two runs over six innings in a

7-3, 10-inning loss.

“Kyle Davies pitched great – six strong innings,” manager Ned

Yost said.

The right-hander will have his work cut out for him after

Kinsler, Young and Adrian Beltre each had three hits Friday. Young

was the only member of that trio not to homer, although he is

batting .429 during a 12-game hitting streak.

“They actually hit a couple of good pitches,” Yost said. “We

just got a couple up. They’re a tremendous fly ball-hitting team

with a lot of pop, a lot of power.”

Mike Napoli, David Murphy and Mitch Moreland also went deep for

the Rangers, whose .488 slugging percentage is second in the majors

behind the New York Yankees. They won for the third time in nine

games since Josh Hamilton went down with a broken right

shoulder.

“We still believe we have a great lineup,” Napoli said. “It was

a tough situation with Ham going down, but we all believe we can

put up runs every night. We struggled a little bit, but we’re not

panicking.”

Kansas City’s Alex Gordon had two hits Friday to extend his

career-best hitting streak to 16 games. He’s hitting .400 during

the run, and he’s a .310 hitter in Arlington.

Jeff Francoeur had a double in three at-bats and Matt Treanor

did not play Friday for the Royals. Both former Rangers received AL

championship rings from manager Ron Washington before the game.

“For Matt and me, it’s just a special time to relive what we had

here last year,” Francoeur told the Royals’ official website.

Francoeur has 17 RBIs for the AL’s second-highest total behind

Beltre’s 18.

Alexi Ogando (2-0, 2.33) will start Saturday, and he has been

solid while replacing Tommy Hunter in the Rangers’ rotation. Ogando

didn’t allow a run over 13 innings in his first two starts before

the Yankees scored five in 6 1-3 innings against him in Texas’ 6-5

loss Sunday.

The right-hander has never started against Kansas City, which is

the only team in the majors yet to lose a series.