KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s tough to catch the Kansas City Royals when they are leading after six innings. Greg Holland leads one of the majors’ best bullpens.
Yordano Ventura pitched into the seventh inning and three relievers shut the door in a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.
The big three — Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Holland — combined for 2 2/3 hitless innings after Ventura departed. The Royals are 54-3 when taking a lead into the seventh.
Ventura (11-9) allowed three runs, two earned, and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who was skipped on his previous turn in the rotation due to a sore back, struck out seven and walked four.
Salvador Perez homered and drove in three runs for Kansas City, which finished with 10 hits.
Holland struck out two in a perfect ninth, earning his 41st save in 43 chances. It was Holland’s third straight day of work.
Perez, who had three hits, went deep in the third with Alex Gordon aboard. His two-out double in the first scored Gordon, who had singled and swiped second.
Colby Lewis (9-12) pitched seven innings for Texas, yielding four runs and nine hits. The right-hander had thrown a complete game in winning each of his previous two road starts.