ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Kansas City starter Danny Duffy had another clunker, and without the excuse all of his weary teammates had for their underwhelming performance.
Duffy traveled ahead of the team before his start in Texas, where the rest of the Royals didn’t arrive until 5:45 a.m. Monday before the 8-2 series-opening loss to the Rangers later that night.
Five days after not making it out of the second inning in his previous start, Duffy matched a career high with six walks without getting through the fourth against Texas.
“There’s going to be stretches in your career, I’ve heard it from a bazillion people, that you just don’t have your best stuff every time you go out there,” Duffy said. “I intend to have this streak of two clunkers be stopped next time out. I know what I’m capable of. It’s not for lack of confidence. I just flat out didn’t do my job.”
The defending AL champion Royals were late getting to Texas after their 10-inning, rain-delayed victory at Detroit that ended after midnight before traveling overnight.
“It’s definitely a factor, but it’s all part of the grind,” first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “I don’t know if that was the reason. You’ve got to credit those guys. They played a good game over there, and (Colby) Lewis pitched well.”
Texas went ahead to stay with four runs in the second, when Duffy walked the first three batters and No. 9 batter Delino DeShields hit a two-run double. A wild pitch by the lefty sent home another run before Shin-Soo Choo had an RBI single.
Duffy (2-2) struck out four but gave up six runs and five hits in his 3 2-3 innings. The last of his 97 pitches was Adrian Beltre’s 399th career homer, a two-run shot that put Texas up 6-1.
“A lot of throwing. Not much pitching. He’s gotten back, especially the last two games of just raring back and firing,” manager Ned Yost said. “And it’s really affecting his command. I mean, of all three pitches. I don’t think he threw a curveball or a changeup for a strike until the third inning. Lot of fastballs over the heart of the plate.”
After Duffy was out of the game, Thomas Field and Prince Fielder homered for Texas to back Colby Lewis (3-2), who allowed one run on three hits over seven innings. The 35-year-old right-hander has given up only two runs over 21 innings his last three starts.
It was the first career homer for Field, who joined the Rangers earlier Monday after struggling second baseman Rougned Odor was sent to Triple-A Round Rock.
Kendrys Morales had an RBI single for the Royals in the fourth. Mike Moustakas was thrown out also trying to score on that hit when center fielder Leonys Martin threw a strike to the plate that beat him by several steps.
Alicides Esobar scored in the fourth, and drove home the other Kansas City run with a double in the eighth.
Beltre’s fourth homer matched him with Al Kaline and Andres Galarraga for 52nd all-time on MLB’s career home run list. Beltre has raised his batting average from .140 to .244 over the past 20 games. “I’m feeling better,” he said. … Fielder’s homer leading off the eighth was his third of the year, matching his total in his Rangers debut last season, when he played only 42 games before neck surgery.
Royals: Yost downed an energy drink before his daily pregame briefing with reporters. He had gotten to sleep about 7 a.m. Monday, and woke up only two hours later. As for the players, Yost said, “I wanted them to sleep … try to conserve as much energy as you can.”
Rangers: 1B Mitch Moreland (shoulder) is expected to play again Tuesday for Round Rock. He could be back with Texas as early as Wednesday, the day he’s eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list.
Royals: Edinson Volquez (2-3, 2.65), the pitcher the Rangers traded to Cincinnati in December 2007 for Josh Hamilton, starts as an opponent in Texas for the first time in his career.
Rangers: Texas (14-18) goes for its second three-game winning streak in a week after failing to win consecutive games in the first 24 games of the season before then.