The host Texas Rangers will go for the series sweep of the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
By beating the Royals 8-0 on Saturday, the Rangers assured themselves their first series win since they swept the visiting Houston Astros on May 21-23.
Texas came into the week riding a six-game losing streak with losses in 19 of its previous 22 games. After splitting a four-game set with Oakland, the Rangers have now won four of their past six.
Run support is a big reason why.
After averaging just over three runs during the six-game losing streak, the Rangers have scored 37 (6.2 per game) over their past six.
On Saturday, Joey Gallo did a lot of the offensive damage, hitting two home runs with five RBIs.
“I feel really comfortable here now,” Gallo said of playing his second season at the Rangers’ new ballpark. “It was tough the first year, knew it would be a process but we’re coming into our own here a little bit. We know what to expect, where to hit the balls.”
On Sunday, the Royals will try to slow Texas with righty Brady Singer (3-5, 4.77 ERA) on the mound as he makes his 16th start of the season.
This will be Singer’s second start against Texas in 2021. His previous start against the Rangers came on April 4 in the season-opening series in Kansas City.
Singer took the loss in that game after giving up six runs (five earned). Nate Lowe hit a three-run homer and Isiah Kiner-Falefa had a two-run single off Singer.
In his most recent start Tuesday against the host New York Yankees, Singer did not factor into the decision after going 3 2/3 innings and giving up two runs off solo home runs.
Singer struck out five but was pulled after walking three straight with two outs in the fourth to load the bases.
The Royals are apparently watching his workload after he had a bout with shoulder tightness last week.
In his past four starts, Singer is 0-1 with a 3.93 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings. He has allowed three runs or fewer in all four of those starts.
“It’s my second year. I’ve never pitched 162 games, so I’m going to trust what they say,” Singer said. “They’ve seen it all. Do what they think.”
The Rangers will counter with right-hander Jordan Lyles (2-5, 5.47 ERA), who is making his 15th start of the season.
Lyles was replaced by Taylor Hearn in the rotation last week but came out of the bullpen for the first time this season and took a no-decision in the Rangers’ 13-6 loss to Oakland on Tuesday.
In that game, Lyles went six innings, allowing two runs off five hits with three strikeouts.
Lyles picked up Texas’ first win of the 2021 season in his previous start against the Royals on April 4 by going 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs off five hits with eight strikeouts.
The only runs the Royals got off Lyles in that game came off a two-run homer by Salvador Perez in the sixth inning. Kansas City had won the first two games of the season-opening series before Lyles salvaged the finale of the three-game series.
Overall, Lyles is 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA against Kansas City in his career. Texas is 6-8 in his 14 starts this season.
–Field Level Media