Rangers-Royals Preview


It's been more than a month since Scott Feldman won a game for the Texas Rangers. His last victory came at Kansas City.

Trying to avoid losing six straight starts for the second time this season, Feldman aims for more success against the Royals in Thursday night's conclusion of a four-game set at Kauffman Stadium.

Feldman (6-11, 5.01 ERA) has been incredibly streaky since settling into the Rangers' rotation May 14. He posted a 7.36 ERA while losing six straight starts, then went 5-0 with a 2.95 ERA in his next six before this current stretch where he's produced a 6.35 ERA while losing his last five. His last win came Aug. 4 at Kansas City, where he gave up two runs in 7 2-3 innings of a 4-2 victory.

The right-hander allowed four runs in six innings of a 4-3 loss at Cleveland on Saturday.

"He's not throwing that badly,'' manager Ron Washington said. "There's one or two plays in an inning that causes his downfall.''

Facing Kansas City (61-75) might provide Feldman with a good opportunity to turn things around. He is 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA in six starts against the Royals, including 1-1 with a 1.46 ERA this season. He's 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA at Kauffman Stadium.

Adrian Beltre hit a three-run homer and Michael Young added a solo shot Wednesday as Texas (81-55) bounced back from Tuesday's 6-3 defeat to beat Kansas City 7-6. The AL West-leading Rangers have won 15 of 22 at Kauffman Stadium since last losing a series there July 27-29, 2007.

Texas has a five-game division lead over Oakland, which is idle Thursday following a three-game sweep at the hands of third-place Los Angeles.

"Those guys aren't worrying about (what other teams are doing),'' Washington said. "If we take care of our business, it doesn't matter what they do.''

Beltre is 12 for 26 (.462) with four homers and seven RBIs while Texas has gone 4-2 on its current 10-game road trip. He's 5 for 13 with three doubles against scheduled Kansas City starter Luke Hochevar (7-13, 5.34), who is 0-4 with a 5.75 ERA in six starts since beating Cleveland on July 31.

The right-hander gave up eight runs - seven on two homers - and walked four in a season-low 1 2-3 innings of an 8-7 loss to Minnesota on Saturday.

"Hochevar just didn't have it,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was battling his command."

Though Hochevar is 2-0 with a 2.78 ERA in five starts against the Rangers, he allowed five runs in six innings of a 7-6, 10-inning home win over Texas on Aug. 5.

Billy Butler had three hits with an RBI and Eric Hosmer added two hits Wednesday for the Royals, who are 4-4 against the Rangers in 2012.

"We played catch-up all night, and when we'd get close they'd tack on,'' Yost said.

Butler is batting .378 with 13 RBIs over his last 21 contests and .360 (18 for 50) with six RBIs during a 12-game hitting streak versus Texas.