KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Jeremy Guthrie delivered a quality start for the Kansas City Royals on Friday night against the potent Texas Rangers offense. Guthrie limited the Rangers to six hits and three runs in six-plus innings, but it was not enough for him to pick up his first victory in more than two months. Matt Harrison gave the beleaguered Texas pitching staff a strong start, Mitch Moreland hit a three-run homer and the Rangers defeated the Royals 5-3.
Guthrie (3-11) is winless in three Kansas City starts since being acquired in a July 20 trade with the Colorado Rockies for Jonathan Sanchez and has not won since May 31 against Houston.
“That’s the best start we’ve seen from him,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “It was great to see him get on track. He was getting his fastball up to 95 and executing pitches.
“He kept the ball down and he really matched Harrison pitch for pitch. That’s a difficult task against their lineup and Jeremy almost did that. He kept us in the ballgame; he kept us one swing away.”
The Royals tied it in the second when they loaded the bases with no outs. Salvador Perez started it with a single, Francoeur walked and Eric Hosmer beat out an infield single. Yuniesky Betancourt, however, grounded into a double play with Perez scoring.
The Rangers took the lead in the fourth, which Beltre opened with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on David Murphy’s single. Murphy is hitting .396 with 32 RBIs in 53 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The Royals chased Harrison in the seventh. Chris Getz and Alex Gordon had two-out infield singles. After Alcides Escobar’s run-scoring single, Tanner Scheppers replaced Harrison, who held the Royals to two runs and eight hits.
Betancourt’s two-out double in the eighth scored Francoeur with the final Royals run.
Alexi Ogando worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save in five opportunities.