Arlington, TX – Brayan Pena ripped a two-run single as part of a four-run first inning and the Kansas City Royals never looked back en route to a 7-4 victory and a sweep of the Texas Rangers in a two-game series.
Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer cracked RBI doubles, Mike Moustakas clubbed a solo home run and Chris Getz added an RBI single for the Royals, who have won four straight and six of their last seven games.
Vin Mazzaro (1-0) allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out two over five solid innings to earn the win. Jose Mijares and Greg Holland combined to close it out in the ninth.
"These guys are the best offensive team in the American League. ... To come in here and win two games for us is big," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Pinch-hitter Brandon Snyder belted a solo home run, David Murphy hit an RBI double for Texas. Mitch Moreland had a run-scoring single and Josh Hamilton knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly for the defending American League champs, who have dropped three of their last four.
"We didn't put as many runs on the board as we needed to," Murphy said.
Colby Lewis (3-3) was tagged for seven runs -- only two earned -- on eight hits and two walks while whiffing four in 5 2/3 innings.
Kansas City jumped on top with four runs in its first at-bat. Jarrod Dyson got the inning off to a good start with a leadoff double. Hosmer then reached on a throwing gaffe by Lewis which allowed Dyson to get to third, and he scored on a fielder's choice groundout by Butler for the first run of the inning.
Jeff Francoeur laced a double two batters later and Moustakas was hit by a pitch to load the bases before Pena drove home Butler and Francoeur with a single for a 3-0 lead. Moustakas then trotted home on a base hit by Getz to cap the inning.
The Royals tacked on a run in the second when Dyson led off with a base hit and advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt by Lewis before scoring courtesy of a double down the line in right by Butler.
Moustakas led off the Kansas City third by crushing a 3-1 fastball from Lewis over the wall in right to extend the lead to 6-0.
The Rangers finally got on the board with a pair of runs in the fourth to cut the deficit to 6-2. Hamilton started the inning with a base hit to left and scored two batters later on a double by Murphy, who then hustled home on a single to left by Moreland.
Ian Kinsler began the Rangers' fifth with a single back through the box, stole second and third before trotting home on a sac fly by Hamilton to make it a 6-3 game.
But the Royals got the run right back in the sixth on an RBI double by Hosmer to push the lead to 7-3.
Mijares got the first two outs in the ninth, but served up a hanging slider to Snyder, who deposited it into the left field seats to cut the deficit to 7-4.
Holland was summoned from the bullpen and got pinch-hitter Elvis Andrus to ground out to shortstop to end the game.
Hamilton (1-for-2) extended his hitting streak to 15 games...The Rangers had won 13 of their past 18 games against the Royals entering play on Tuesday...Texas fell to 10-8 at home this season...Earlier on Tuesday, the Rangers announced that longtime radio broadcaster Eric Nadel will become the 15th member of the Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame in an on-field ceremony on August 11...Texas went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded four.