Royals at Rangers
The Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers each entered their four-game series struggling to score runs, and those struggles continued as the teams combined to push across one over 13 innings on Thursday. The teams will each try to cross the plate in the standard nine frames when Texas hosts the second game of the set on Friday.
Kansas City has scored three or fewer runs in seven of its last eight games and two or fewer in each of the last four, including a contest on Thursday in which it recorded four hits and struck out 14 times in 13 scoreless innings. The Royals' pitching staff is doing its best to prop up the weak offensive attack as it has allowed fewer than three runs in each of the last seven games, leading the team to a 5-2 mark in that span. Nate Karns will try to keep that streak alive on Friday against a Rangers lineup that has totaled four runs in the last three contests. Delino DeShields finally singled in the winning run to end Thursday's contest, and Texas will try to carry that momentum and turn it into more runs on Friday for ace Cole Hamels.
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, FSN Kansas City, FSN Southwest (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Nate Karns (0-0, 4.38 ERA) vs. Rangers LH Cole Hamels (0-0, 3.50)
Karns was roughed up in a relief appearance on April 5 but was sharp in two turns since joining the rotation. The Texas Tech product yielded a total of one run and 10 hits in 11 2/3 innings versus Houston and the Los Angeles Angels but could not get enough support to record a victory. Karns is 1-1 with a 6.32 ERA in three career starts against the Rangers.
Hamels is having his own trouble getting help from his lineup and bullpen and is looking for his first win despite allowing three or fewer earned runs in each of his first three outings. The California native failed to last at least six innings for the first time in 2017 on Saturday, when he was reached for three earned runs in five innings at Seattle. Hamels won both of his starts against Kansas City last season while allowing two earned runs in 13 1/3 frames.
1. The Rangers designated Mike Hauschild for assignment and purchased the contract of fellow RHP Anthony Bass from Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday.
2. Kansas City 2B Raul Mondesi is 0-for-15 in his last six games and has struck out six times in his last two contests.
3. Texas RF Nomar Mazara is 0-for-13 over his last three games.