MLB

Gallo, Chirinos each homer twice as Rangers top Royals 6-2

Texas Rangers' Joey Gallo jogs home after hitting a solo home run off Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Nathan Karns, rear, during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Friday, April 21, 2017. The homer was Gallo's second of the game. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Texas Rangers' Joey Gallo jogs home after hitting a solo home run off Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Nathan Karns, rear, during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Friday, April 21, 2017. The homer was Gallo's second of the game. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Joey Gallo gave a worker in Rick's Popcorn Wagon a little scare with the hardest-hit home run in the majors this season.

Gallo's tiebreaking smash was the first of two for the stout slugger, Robinson Chirinos also went deep twice to back a season-high eight innings from Cole Hamels and the Texas Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals 6-2 on Friday night.

The liner from Gallo on a 3-0 pitch in the second inning matched teammate Carlos Gomez for the longest in the majors this season at 462 feet and was the hardest with an exit velocity of 116.1 mph, according to MLB's statcast.

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It plunked the popcorn stand on a bounce on the concourse behind the lower-deck seats down the line in right field, with a woman in a window appearing to flinch on the ricochet.

"I've seen that thing before," Gallo said. "In BP, a lot of our lefties hit it over there. The lady working is kind of always dodging balls in BP."

The team-leading fifth homer of the season for Gallo -- a solo shot in the fifth -- was a high flyball that landed in the upper deck in right-center field.

Like Gallo, Chirinos homered in his first two at-bats for his second and third of the season. The first solo homer was halfway up the seats above the 14-foot wall in left field, the second to the back of the Kansas City bullpen in left-center.

The homers were four of the five hits allowed by Nate Karns (0-1), facing his hometown team for the fourth time. The right-hander allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings, losing for the first time since last June in Texas when he was with Seattle.

"One of those ones were I felt like every hit I gave up was a homer," Karns said. "And it pretty much almost was."

Hamels (1-0) retired 12 straight from the first to fifth innings for the left-hander's first decision after leaving his previous three starts in position for the win. He threw a season-high 107 pitches, allowing three hits and one run with three strikeouts.

A night after losing 1-0 in 13 innings, the Royals had a run within the first two batters on Lorenzo Cain's RBI double before the lowest-scoring offense in the majors fizzled again.

CLOSE CALL

The game was played with the threat of severe weather, which was supposed to hit in the middle innings. But it missed the ballpark on two sides, until rain started falling with Texas reliever Jeremy Jeffress struggling to close out the ninth. He had allowed three singles and a run and was probably a baserunner away from forcing Matt Bush into the game when he coaxed a game-ending double play grounder from Alcides Escobar.

HITTING THE DECK

Royals first base coach Rusty Kuntz had to dive to avoid a liner from Alex Gordon in the first inning. The batting helmet that's been required for base coaches in the majors since 2008 came off. Kuntz could be seen saying "Wow" as Rangers first baseman Mike Napoli handed him the helmet. MLB adopted the rule after Mike Coolbaugh died when he was struck in the neck by a line drive in a minor league game in 2007.

SHORT HOPS

Kansas City's Jorge Bonafacio went 0 for 3 in his major league debut after getting called up from Triple-A Omaha when the Royals sent down slow-starting Raul Mondesi and Paulo Orlando. … The Rangers have won eight straight against the Royals, six of them in Arlington. … Third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert dropped a popup for just the second Kansas City error this season, lowest in the majors.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: RHP A.J. Griffin was scratched from his Saturday start and placed on the 10-day disabled list with inflammation in his left ankle caused by gout. The Rangers didn't immediately announce a roster move or a replacement. … OF Josh Hamilton was released from his minor league contract after injuring his right knee while working on his recovery from left knee surgery. The 2010 AL MVP is facing his 12th surgery, perhaps signaling the end of his career. He turns 36 next month.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy (0-2, 2.37 ERA) pitched eight scoreless innings, but didn't get decision in a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels in his last start.

Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez is getting recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to fill in for Griffin. He will be the sixth different starter of the season.