ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — MJ Melendez drove in three runs to back another strong outing from Brad Keller, and the Kansas City Royals avoided a three-game sweep with a 10-1 rout of the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.
The Rangers had their second three-game winning streak of the season stopped on the day they announced star shortstop Corey Seager would miss at least four weeks with a hamstring strain.
Vinnie Pasquantino homered, and Bobby Witt Jr. had an RBI triple among three hits with a career-high three stolen bases against his hometown team as the Royals ended a three-game losing streak.
The Royals, who came in hitting .190 as a team and averaging 2.8 runs per game, had season highs in runs and hits (14).
Keller (2-1) didn’t allow a run after giving up Nathaniel Lowe’s first-inning homer, leaving after his two-out walk in the seventh ended a streak of 10 consecutive batters retired.
The right-hander, who gave up three hits and struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings, has half of Kansas City’s four victories without allowing more than two runs in any of his three starts.
It was Keller’s 18th consecutive start with a decision.
The longest streak in the majors in three years and longest for the Royals since Tim Belcher’s 21-start streak in 1996-97.
Melendez lined a tiebreaking two-run double into the gap in right-center for a 3-1 lead in the second and an RBI single in the fourth before scoring on Witt’s triple into the right field corner.
Nathan Eovaldi (1-2), one of three free agent additions to the Texas rotation, allowed 10 hits and six runs with seven strikeouts and a pitch clock violation over five innings in a second consecutive loss.
Josh Smith started in place of Seager, who was injured running the bases a night earlier, and went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts from the second spot in the order normally occupied by the three-time All-Star.
Franmil Reyes, Michael Massey and Edward Olivares had consecutive run-scoring singles off reliever Taylor Hearn in Kansas City’s punctuating four-run seventh.
Both teams are off Thursday going into three-game weekend series. Kansas City RHP Brady Singer (1-0, 4.91 ERA) is scheduled to face Atlanta at home. Texas LHP Martín Pérez (1-1, 2.53) is set for the first meeting of the season with Houston.
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