The left-hander has won three straight for the first time in his career, capped with Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Anaheim. May scattered just four hits over seven innings, striking out three and walking two.
Despite the win, he wasn’t entirely pleased with the outing.
“I got behind hitters a lot,” May said. “And that can hurt you in the long run, so you can’t be doing that. But fortunately I was coming back on the count and hitting my pitches.”
Before beginning his streak, May had gone 16 starts and 19 appearances without a victory. Royals manager Tony Pena thinks he knows why.
“In the past, he was kind of nibbling, nibbling, nibbling, and tried to be picky,” Pena said. “But right now he just attacks the strike zone. So either they’re going to hit the ball, or he’s going to strike them out.”
The Royals have won eight of 11, including Saturday’s 8-2 victory in the middle game of the series as Jose Lima pitched seven scoreless innings to win his fifth consecutive start.
Beltran, who was 4-for-4, also had a two-run triple in the eighth. He is 6-for-8 with six RBIs over the last two games.
Doug Glanville ended Kansas City’s shutout bid when he homered leading off the eighth. Alex Rodriguez added a sacrifice fly later in the inning for the Rangers, who had won six of eight before losing two straight to the Royals.
Texas has lost five straight to Kansas City, dating to last season.
STANDINGS: Royals - 1st place, AL Central. Rangers - 4th place, 19 GB, AL West.
ROYALS PROBABLE STARTER: May (3-4, 3.62 ERA). In four career appearances against Texas, including three starts, May is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA.
RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Tony Mounce (1-2, 4.60 ERA). Mounce is 1-1 with a 5.74 ERA over his last three starts. The 28-year-old left-hander, who was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma on June 13, is coming off of his shortest outing of the season. He surrendered five runs and five hits over just three innings Tuesday, while walking three without notching a strikeout, but the Rangers rallied for an 8-6 win. He makes his first career start against Kansas City.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Royals - Desi Relaford, .288 avg.; Tucker, 13 HRs; Raul Ibanez, 53 RBIs and 55 runs; Beltran, 24 SBs. Rangers - Hank Blalock, .328 avg.; Juan Gonzalez, 23 HRs and 66 RBIs; Rodriguez, 60 runs; Michael Young and Rodriguez, 7 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Royals, 2-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Royals - Kansas City hasn’t had a three-game sweep in Texas since taking three straight from Aug. 18-20, 1980. … OF Beltran stole a base in the fifth inning Saturday—his 23rd straight successful steal. … OF Tucker is hitting .333 (26-for-78) over his last 21 games, raising his average from .255 to .274. Rangers - OF Gonzalez has five homers and 16 RBIs in his last 11 games. … RHP Francisco Cordero has been promoted to closer after the Royals traded Ugueth Urbina to Florida on Friday. … 2B Michael Young is hitting .355 (11-for-31) with seven RBIs over his last eight games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Royals - 24-21 on the road; Rangers - 23-26 at home.
INJURIES: Royals - INF Mendy Lopez (calf), 15-day DL; INF Mike Sweeney (back), 15-day DL; OF Dee Brown (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Kyle Snyder (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Miguel Asencio (elbow), 60-day DL. Rangers - OF Kevin Mench (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (oblique), 15-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL.