Kansas City, MO – Mitch Moreland hit a three-run home run to help the Texas Rangers take a 5-3 win over the Kansas City Royals in the opener of a three-game set.
David Murphy and Nelson Cruz each drove in a run for the Rangers, who have won three straight. Matt Harrison (13-6) pitched 6 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts to snap a two-start losing streak.
"It's all about execution and making your pitches," said Harrison. "Wins are hard to come by. If you keep the game close, anything can happen. I'm happy to get the win, but the most important thing is we're on a roll right now and hopefully we'll continue that."
Alcides Escobar and Yuniesky Betancourt each drove in a run for the Royals, who had a three-game winning streak stopped. Jeremy Guthrie (0-3) dropped his third straight start since coming to Kansas City as he gave up three runs on six hits over six-plus innings.
Texas went on top in the first inning thanks to a sacrifice fly from Cruz, but a run-scoring double play by Betancourt in the second tied the game for Kansas City.
"The first inning I was up in the zone a lot and got into some trouble, but after that I felt like I was able to make some better pitches and give us a chance to win," said Guthrie.
The Rangers went back on top in the fourth. Adrian Beltre singled to start the frame and later moved to second on a wild pitch. Murphy then singled him home for a 2-1 lead.
In the seventh, the Rangers struck again. Michael Young led off with a single and Geovany Soto later walked. Moreland followed with his 11th home run of the year, a shot to right, for a 5-1 advantage.
Kansas City chipped away at its deficit in the seventh as an Escobar single scored Chris Getz, and the team made it a two-run game in the eighth on an RBI double from Betancourt.
Alexi Ogando, though, set the Royals down in order in the ninth for his second save of the season.
Kansas City took both games of a two-game set in Texas on May 14 and 15...Harrison improved to 3-1 in five career starts against the Royals...Including his time with the Rockies this season, Guthrie is 0-9 in his last 14 games. He fell to 3-3 lifetime against Texas over 13 games...Kansas City left nine men on base.