ARLINGTON, Texas – Sean O'Sullivan took one for the team Saturday night.
The 23-year-old right-hander gave up five homers on a night when his arm was aching and Kansas City's bullpen was gassed as the Texas Rangers routed the Royals 10-1.
Kansas City received 11 1-3 scoreless innings from its relief corps in Friday night's 12-7 win over Texas in 14 innings. That left manager Ned Yost with a short bullpen and little choice but to leave a struggling O'Sullivan on the mound for 5 2-3 innings.
O'Sullivan was knocked around for 10 runs and 15 hits — both career highs — as his ERA swelled from 5.60 to 6.75.
"Our bullpen's been worked pretty good lately," Yost said. "He knew that going in, that he was going to have to go deep in the game and get us as far as he could. His best feature was that he competed. His stuff was flat at times and they hit it."
O'Sullivan has been battling right biceps tendinitis that limited the effectiveness of his fastball, but he wanted to give Yost as many innings as possible.
"It's not fun," O'Sullivan said. "But I had to keep taking the ball and go as hard as I could for as long as I could. I'd have finished it if (Yost) kept running me out there."
O'Sullivan said he's experienced the tendinitis before and has been able to pitch through it.
"It started grabbing me a little bit," he said. "I couldn't get much behind the ball. It made it difficult to get much on the fastball. I get it once or twice every year. It wasn't going to go away for five days, but it's nothing that sticks with me. I pitch through it one or two times and it goes away."
Meanwhile, Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison was sharp for six innings, and he got all the support he needed from his power-hitting lineup.
Harrison pitched five-hit shutout ball and he got early support when Mitch Moreland, Mike Napoli and Endy Chavez hit consecutive homers in the second to match a club record.
Harrison (5-4) struck out one and walked one in steamy 98-degree conditions to help the Rangers win for the fourth time in six games. He has pitched at least six innings in eight of his 10 starts and has thrown 16 1-3 straight shutout innings in his last three starts.
Harrison could have gone deeper, but a blister on his right index finger shortened his outing.
Yoshinori Tateyama, a 35-year-old rookie, worked the final three innings for his first big league save.
Billy Butler had two hits for the Royals, who've dropped 11 of 14.
If O'Sullivan thought he was getting a break facing Texas' bottom three batters to open the second, he was mistaken.
Moreland led off with his sixth homer into the visitors' bullpen in left center, Napoli followed with his seventh, and Chavez hit his first to make it 5-0. The three blasts sailed a total of 1,182 feet.
"We got some pitches from O'Sullivan up in the zone and we didn't miss them," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
The Rangers knocked out O'Sullivan with a three-run sixth on Josh Hamilton's RBI double and Nelson Cruz's two-run homer for a 10-0 lead.
Former Ranger Matt Treanor ended Texas' shutout bid in the seventh with an RBI groundout.
Notes: O'Sullivan has given up 27 runs in his last four starts. He matched a club record with the 15 hits allowed. ... O'Sullivan is 2-1 with a 7.50 ERA in five career appearances against Texas. ... Butler is 8 for 22 (.364) on the current road trip.