Rangers bats silenced in loss to Royals

Rangers bats silenced in loss to Royals

ARLINGTON -- The night could have been worse for the Rangers.

Kansas City cruised past Texas, 8-1, in the series opener on Monday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The seven-run margin could have easily been higher as the Royals stranded a season-high 16 runners on the night.

Rangers manager Ron Washington explained the drubbing his team took quite simply, though.

"They beat us," Washington said. "We got here at 4 a.m. [from Los Angeles], not using that as an excuse, because they beat us. But, we can get them tomorrow."

The Rangers pitching staff provided plenty of opportunities for the Royals, walking nine batters, including four in the first inning by starter Kameron Loe. Those led to the Royals grabbing a quick two-run lead.

Loe's command issues were in large part due to a "sharp pinch" in the back of his right elbow. He left after the third inning with right elbow inflammation. He may have to skip his next start, which is scheduled for Tuesday at Detroit.

"I definitely felt it in the first [inning]," Loe said. "I didn't feel it in the second. It was on and off because on certain pitches it would hurt. I would throw a fastball and it wouldn't hurt. Then I threw another fastball and it would hurt."

Loe, who went on the disabled list (sore back) in early August, has dealt with the pain in the back of his elbow since he was activated on Aug. 18. Still, Loe made it to the fifth inning in his first three games back from the DL. The three-inning outing on Monday was his shortest since July 14, when he went 2 2/3 innings against the Angels.

"I tried to give us as much as I could," Loe said. "It started to really bother me in the third, so it wouldn't have been smart to stay out there. I'm going to try to get healthy and stay healthy."

In the four-walk first, Loe gave up a two-run single to Alex Gordon. It was minimal damage, considering the Royals ended up standing three runners.

Loe was relieved by Scott Feldman, who hadn't pitched in 14 days. Feldman didn't fare much better, giving up two runs and three walks over 2 2/3 innings. After retiring the first batter in the fourth inning, he gave up an infield hit, walk then an RBI single to Ross Gload and run-scoring grounder to Billy Butler.

The Royals cushioned their lead in the eighth and ninth innings scoring four runs. Gload began the three-run, five-hit eighth with a solo blast just over the right-field wall. Gordon had another two-run single for a four-RBI night, tying a career best. The Royals tacked on one more in the ninth against Wes Littleton. Mark Grudzielanek scored on Mark Teahen's single to right.

Still, the Rangers know it could have been a lot worse. The Royals stranded at least one runner in every inning -- a mark they haven't reached since Sept. 15, 1984. It's also the most against the Rangers this season in a nine-inning game.

"It just says that they had a chance to score more," Washington said. "It's nothing to be happy about. But, the thing about baseball is there is always the next day."

The Rangers offense, one that scored five or more runs in seven of their previous eight games, was silenced as well.

Royals starter Zack Greinke shut out the Rangers for five innings in an 82-pitch outing, leaving with a 4-0 lead. The Royals bullpen made it stand, shutting down the Rangers until the eighth inning when Ian Kinsler had a two-out triple and scored on Michael Young's single.

"Greinke is a good, young talent," said Kinsler, who extended his hitting streak to nine games. "They swung the bats well tonight. Hopefully, we can come back and get them tomorrow."

And, for what it's worth, Rangers catcher Guillermo Quiroz entered the game in the ninth inning, becoming the first player in club history whose last name begins with "Q." The Rangers purchased Quiroz's contract from Triple-A Oklahoma earlier on Monday.

Drew Davison is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.