ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Yu Darvish pitched eight innings in his longest outing since elbow surgery two years ago and the Texas Rangers scored the tying and go-ahead runs without a hit, completing a four-game sweep with a 5-2 win over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
The Japanese right-hander retired 15 of 16 batters after giving up three consecutive hits in the third. Two of those were back-to-back solo home runs from Mike Moustakas and Jorge Bonifacio, whose first big league homer came two innings after he singled for his first career hit.
Darvish (2-2) struck out eight with one walk as the Rangers finished their second four-game sweep of Kansas City in as many seasons. Texas has won 10 straight against the Royals, who have lost five of six since a four-game winning streak.
The 30-year-old Darvish also threw the most pitches (113) since Tommy John reconstructive surgery during spring training in 2015. He missed all of that season and part of last year.
Jason Hammel (0-2) came out after starting the fourth inning with a walk, two hit batters and another walk to force in the tying run.
The second hit batter, Robinson Chirinos, got plunked on the right wrist on a check swing, and the ricochet hit home plate umpire Eric Cooper on the right leg. Both hobbled away from the plate, with Cooper ruling a foul ball. It was quickly overturned by replay.
Jurickson Profar walked for a 2-2 tie, forcing Hammel out of the game. Carlos Gomez then gave Texas the lead with an RBI grounder.
Matt Bush pitched a perfect ninth for his first save this season and the second of the 31-year-old reliever’s career.
Joey Gallo, the first hit batter in the fourth, connected in the sixth for his team-leading sixth homer, an opposite-field drive to left. Robinson Chirinos homered in the eighth, his fourth long ball in 18 at-bats.
Elvis Andrus, hitting cleanup for the first time in his career, had an RBI single for the Rangers’ first run in the third.
Royals: C Salvador Perez missed his second straight game with neck stiffness. Manager Ned Yost said he was still day-to-day.
Rangers: RHP Sam Dyson, on the 10-day DL with a right hand contusion after losing his job as closer, will pitch an inning each Monday and Tuesday on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Round Rock. He can return to the Rangers on Friday.
Royals: LHP Jason Vargas (3-0, 0.44 ERA) makes his 200th career start in the opener of a three-game series at the White Sox. He’s 3-0 for the first time since his rookie season in 2005 and has just two walks with 23 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings.
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (1-2, 3.60 ERA) pitches the opener of a three-game home series against Minnesota. He’s 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA in two home starts, including 5 1/3 scoreless innings in an 8-1 win over Oakland.