Kansas City, MO – The red-hot Texas Rangers came into Tuesday with nine home runs in their last two games, but the Kansas City Royals overpowered the AL West leaders, claiming a 6-3 win.
Alex Gordon and Johnny Giavotella homered for Kansas City, which lost the opener of this four-game series, 8-4, on Monday.
After giving up a run in the first two innings, Jeremy Guthrie (4-3) rebounded to go seven innings and win his fourth straight decision. He gave up two runs on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
Matt Harrison (15-9), an AL All-Star who gave up seven runs in his last outing, surrendered five runs -- three earned -- on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.
"I felt good coming into today," Harrison said. "But I had a high pitch count early, 80 pitches through four, and not a lot of good things happen when you throw that many pitches through four innings."
"He's got great numbers," Gordon said. "He's been doing it all season long. He did it against us earlier in the year. We put some good at-bats together and the offense did pretty well against a pretty good left-handed pitcher."
After Texas took a two-run lead in the second inning, the Royals were able to score two unearned runs to tie the game in the third.
Ian Kinsler, who was picked off third base with one out in the top half of the inning, botched a Lorenzo Cain grounder to start the bottom half. Alcides Escobar lined a double down the left-field line to score Cain, and after moving to third on a ground out, he narrowly avoided a tag at the plate on Billy Butler's sacrifice fly to center field.
KC picked up three more in the fifth to take the lead for good. Cain singled with one out, but was erased on a fielder's choice grounder from Escobar. Gordon followed by crushing a 2-1 pitch over the wall in center for a 4-2 game.
Butler followed with a two-out base hit and scored when Salvador Perez sliced a double to right field, expanding the lead to three.
Giavotella crushed his first home run since Sept. 3, 2011 out to center field in the sixth inning to tack on another run.
Kelvin Herrera tossed a scoreless eighth inning before the Rangers picked up back-to-back singles against the right-hander to start the ninth. Greg Holland came on and allowed Hamilton to score on a sac fly from Michael Young, then earned his 11th save by inducing a game-ending double-play grounder from David Murphy.
Elvis Andrus supplied the Rangers' power in the first inning, when the second hitter of the game crushed his third homer of the season to put Texas up, 1-0.
The Rangers added another run in the second after Geovany Soto worked a two- out walk and scored on a Mitch Moreland double.
Guthrie, who had a 6.56 earned run average over his first 20 games -- 18 starts -- with the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City, has a 2.07 ERA over his last six starts (nine earned runs in 39 2/3 innings) ... The Royals improved to 15-9 in their last 24 games against teams within five games of a playoff spot ... Holland has successfully closed out 11 straight save opportunities since taking over as closer, allowing one run in 16 1/3 innings in that span ...Texas was 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position and left four on base ... Kansas City went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded six.