Royals 10, Rangers 0

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—The Kansas City Royals are certainly glad they have Leo Nunez now.

Nunez pitched six scoreless innings in his second major league start and the Royals routed the Texas Rangers 10-0 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

Nunez (1-0), who was recalled from Triple-A Omaha, gave up three singles, walked one and struck one before departing after 85 pitches. Kansas City nearly dealt him to Oakland last month for Milton Bradley but backed out when they learned Bradley was injured.

“It seemed like he was in control from the very first pitch,” Royals manager Buddy Bell said. “It would be nice if he continues to do that for us. I know it’s tough to do every time. But just from the standpoint of being aggressive and throwing strikes, you can’t do much better than that. He was really good today.”

Nunez is pleased the trade to Oakland did not go through.

“I don’t have control over that, but I don’t want to go anywhere,” Nunez said with teammate Octavio Dotel acting as a translator.

The young Dominican right-hander, who was a reliever before this season and fractured his right wrist in spring training, held Boston to one run over four innings on July 17 in his first start, and would have gotten the win had he gone five.

“I’ll do anything—start or relief—I just want to stay in the big show,” Nunez said.

Nunez was sent back to the minors the day after his Boston start. Nunez will not be going anywhere after this outing—Bell said he would start Friday at New York.

“Leo had everything working,” Royals catcher Jason LaRue said. “He was basically able to mix up all his pitches and throw all of his pitches for strikes. We didn’t go into a lot of deep counts. He had command of all his pitches, not just one pitch.”

Joel Peralta gave up two hits over the final three innings to get his second career save.

“They outpitched us,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “It’s not they pitched us all that good. It’s just on any given day, pitching can shut down hitters and they shut down our hitting. Their pitchers were better than ours.”

David DeJesus and Tony Pena Jr. each had two hits and drove in three runs. Ross Gload had three hits, extending his hitting streak to a season-high eight games, and drove in a run.

The Royals had four doubles and a walk in a four-run second inning off Kameron Loe. Gload started it with a one-out double and scored on Mark Teahen’s double. After Reggie Sanders walked, Pena stroked a two-run double to center and scored on David DeJesus’ double.

The Royals chased Loe (5-9) with two more runs in the sixth. Pena’s single scored Teahen, who led off the inning with a single. Sanders, who walked again, scored on DeJesus’ single off Ron Mahay.

“I think we kept the ball maybe around the zone a little too much and they took some good swings at it,” Loe said. “We may have fell behind the hitters a little too much in this series. You get behind guys like that a bunch and you can get hurt.”

Loe, who is 0-3 with two no-decisions since a July 1 victory at Boston, yielded six runs and eight hits. He struck out two and walked three.

The Royals, who have won four straight, sent 10 batters to the plate in a four-run seventh. Sanders, Gload and Esteban German had run-scoring singles and DeJesus walked with the bases loaded.

Gerald Laird, who had two of the Rangers’ hits off Nunez, extended his hitting streak to a season-high nine games.

Notes

The Royals designated RHP Jason Shiell for assignment to make room for Nunez. … The Royals are 13-10 in July with two games left. That assures the Royals of their second straight winning month. The last time they had back-to-back winning months was June-July 2003. … Rangers SS Michael Young went 0-for-4, snapping his season-high 11-game hitting streak. … The Rangers dropped to 6-15 against the AL Central.

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