Scott Erickson hopes to build on his first victory in more than two years as the Texas Rangers vie for a season-high ninth straight win when they conclude a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
The Rangers acquired Erickson on July 31 in a trade with the New York Mets to strengthen a rotation depleted by injuries this season. He lost his first two starts for Texas, allowing a combined seven runs in 10 innings.
Against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday, though, the Rangers’ offense powered Erickson to his first win since Aug. 7, 2002, while he was still with the Baltimore Orioles. The 36-year-old right-hander gave up one run and three hits in six innings of a 16-4 rout.
The Rangers, who had scored just two runs in Erickson’s first two games, gave him plenty of cushion this time as they pounded 17 hits, highlighted by Mark Teixeira hitting for the cycle.
“There’s no better way to get your first win of the season than for a team trying to get into the playoffs,” said Erickson, who missed last season due to a shoulder injury and had a 7.88 ERA in two starts for the Mets this year. “It was a relief to get all those runs. I’m just glad the Rangers are giving me a chance to pitch on a regular basis.”
Teixeira continued his hot hitting with his 30th homer as Texas won its eighth straight game Saturday, a 5-3 victory over Kansas City. The first basemen, who is hitting .387 with three homers and 12 RBIs in his last eight games, became the 12th player in Rangers history to hit 30 or more homers in a season.
Francisco Cordero pitched a scoreless ninth for his 39th save in 41 chances for Texas, which remains tied with Boston for the AL wild-card lead and trails first-place Oakland by a half-game in the AL West.
Joe Randa had two RBI singles for the Royals, who stranded seven runners in the last three innings and have lost 10 of their last 14. Their 43-77 record is the worst in club history after 120 games.