|5:05 PM PT6:05 PM MT7:05 PM CT8:05 PM ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 PM MST7:05 PM EST7:35 PM VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 PM CT, May 31, 2019
Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas Attendance: 31,183
Royals seek second straight win over Rangers
Kansas City Royals at Texas Rangers
- The Royals were swept in three games against the White Sox in their last series -- all three games were decided by a single run. Kansas City is an MLB-worst 4-12 this season in games decided by one run.
- The Rangers won two of three in Seattle in their most recent series, and are 10-4 over their last 14 games. Texas currently has a 27-26 record -- the team has been within one game of .500 for 40 days this season, the most of any team in the majors.
- Texas won two out three games when these teams met in May in Kansas City, winning the rubber game of the series, 16-1. The Rangers have won 10 of their last 12 home games against the Royals dating back to the 2016 season.
- The Royals have four players this season with at least 25 extra-base hits: Whit Merrifield (28), Hunter Dozier (26), Jorge Soler (26) and Adalberto Mondesi (25). The only other teams in the majors with four players with 25+ extra-base hits this season are the Astros and the Twins.
- Over his last 10 starts, Mike Minor has a 1.91 ERA while striking out 9.41 batters per nine innings. The only other Ranger all-time to have a sub- 2.00 ERA and a 9.0+ K/9 IP over any 10-start span within a single season was Bobby Witt, late in the 1990 season.
- In 39 career games with the Rangers, Hunter Pence has 86 total bases. Only three players in franchise history have begun their Rangers career with more total bases in their first 39 games with the team: Alex Rodriguez (99), Josh Hamilton (90) and Rod Barajas (88).
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The Kansas City Royals routinely have found themselves under the thumb of the Texas Rangers since the start of the 2016 season.
After losing 19 of 24 such encounters prior to this series, the Royals will bid to win the first two contests of the four-game set on Friday when the clubs reconvene in Arlington, Texas.
Adalberto Mondesi homered to highlight his fifth three-hit performance of the season in Kansas City's 4-2 win over Texas on Thursday. The 23-year-old has 20 hits, nine RBIs and 10 runs scored in his last 15 games.
"Lately I've been swinging so hard, so right now, I'm just focused on putting the ball in play," Mondesi said. "... I've been working on that every day."
Jorge Soler homered for the second time in as many days and fourth in nine outings when he belted a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Soler's homer extended his career-high total this season to 14.
Soler and Mondesi will look to continue their strong play at the plate versus Texas right-hander Ariel Jurado (1-2, 2.28 ERA), who acquitted himself well in his last outing. Jurado allowed two runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings of a no-decision against the Los Angeles Angels.
The 23-year-old Jurado struggled in his lone career encounter with Kansas City, permitting two runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings of a no-decision on May 14.
Jurado will have two special people in the crowd as his parents are making their first trek from Panama to the United States.
"It's a cool story," Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. "They've never been to the United States, get to see him pitch (on Friday)."
Joey Gallo's two-out walk in the fourth inning allowed him to reach base in 31 of his last 37 games, but the 25-year-old isn't getting ahead of himself.
"It's still one-third of the season, still a lot left, but I feel like I've made a lot of adjustments to be a better overall hitter," Gallo said, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "It's definitely been an enjoyable season so far for me personally, so hopefully keep that going."
Shin-Soo Choo belted his sixth homer in 13 games and the 199th of his career in the series opener heading into Friday's tilt versus Kansas City left-hander Danny Duffy (3-1, 3.12 ERA), against whom he is 4-for-13 in his career.
Duffy will attempt to rebound after seeing his three-start winning streak come to an end in his last outing. He yielded four runs (one earned) on five hits in six innings of a no-decision against the New York Yankees on Sunday.
The 30-year-old Duffy improved to 3-2 with a 3.33 ERA in eight career starts versus Texas on May 14 despite surrendering four runs on seven hits in five innings of an 11-5 win.
Duffy has struggled against Asdrubal Cabrera (5-for-15) and Gallo (3-for-9) in small sample sizes.
The availability of Kansas City's Hunter Dozier for the rest of the series is in question after he exited the opener with right side thorax tightness.
"Dozier is going to need a day or maybe even two, and that might affect my plans with Nicky Lopez and Mondesi getting days off," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 31, 2019