The Texas Rangers won their second straight in Kansas City picking up a 4-1 win behind a stellar start from Cole Hamels and hot bat from Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Cole Hamels lead the way for the Texas Rangers in Kansas City on Tuesday as the team was able to pick up a 4-1 win. Texas has now won two in a row against the Royals and four in a row overall and seem to be trending in the right direction. Here’s our one big takeaway from the road win.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa Is Here To Stay
Now this may not seem like news to anybody but Isiah Kiner-Falefa has more than secured regular playing time for the Texas Rangers. He swung a hot bat on Tuesday going 3-3 for Texas with a couple of doubles and an RBI. Not originally in the lineup, IKF slotted in to replace Rougned Odor who was scratched prior to the game and played 3rd with Profar moving to 2nd base.
The Odor scratch hasn’t been linked to injury directly and there is speculation that it is linked to the internal violation of team rules that saw Yohander Mendez optioned to AAA. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News said that Jeff Banister declined comment on any connection to the incident.
Regardless of what the reasoning was, Isiah Kiner-Falefa showed up in a big way for the Rangers. Jeff Banister has made it clear his priority is to get both Jurickson Profar and Isiah Kiner-Falefa regular playing time despite having a fully healthy infield. Kiner-Falefa, has shown out for Texas since getting called up earlier this season to replace an injured Rougned Odor. He’s hitting .255 with a .333 on-base percentage and has shown flexibility in his ability to play multiple positions. In fact, he’s scheduled to make his big league catching debut tomorrow night in the final game of the series against the Royals.
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The Texas Rangers jumped out to an early lead in Kansas City scoring twice in both the 2nd and 3rd innings. Cole Hamels got the start for Texas and dominated the Royals lineup allowing just one unearned run through 7 solid innings.
A refreshingly dominant pitching performance couple with a 12 hit night at the plate helped propel the Rangers to a fourth straight win. Texas moved to 31-44 on the season with the victory.
An couple of additional notes, Shin-Soo Choo was able to extend his on base streak to 33 games. Elvis Andrus also was able to pick up his first hit since returning from the DL.
Nomar Mazara (TEX): 3-5, 3 1B
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (TEX): 3-3, 2 2B, RBI, R, 2 BB
Rosell Herrera (KC): 2-3, RBI
WP: Cole Hamels (4-6) 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 K, 3 BB
LP: Jason Hammel (2-8) 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 K, 4 BB
SV: Keone Kela (17) 1 IP, 0 H
The third game of the series between the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals will take place tomorrow. Texas will go for a sweep of the Royals with first pitch set 7:15 CT. The Rangers will send Austin Bibens-Dirkx to the mound to face Jakob Junis.