ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Ross Detwiler is still winless in Texas.
Getting his wish to start for the Rangers — he was a reliever for Washington last season — Detwiler’s winless streak in Texas reached seven games after 6-3 loss Thursday to the AL Central-leading Kansas City Royals.
“I’m mostly frustrated with myself. I’m the one not getting the ball where it needs to be,” Detwiler said. “I feel like I’m fighting myself. I thought I took a big step forward in Houston, and then the last two just haven’t been as good as that one.”
In his start 10 days earlier at Houston, the left-hander allowed one run over seven innings in a no-decision against the Astros. Detwiler (0-5, 6.95 ERA) then allowed five runs in four innings at Tampa Bay before facing the AL Central-leading Royals.
“He had a grinding performance today. He couldn’t get the outs when he needed to,” manager Jeff Banister said.
Detwiler allowed three runs and 10 runners in five innings, giving up nine hits with a walk. He struck out three.
Prince Fielder and Delino DeShields each had RBI singles in the Texas fifth. Elvis Andrus later added a sacrifice fly.
Rangers leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo had three hits, extending his hitting streak to an AL-high 14 games. He is hitting .373 (22 of 59) in May to raise his season average from .096 to .243.
Alcides Escobar, leading off for Kansas City, had three hits and accounted for five runs, scoring twice while driving home three.
“Having him at the top of the lineup the way he swings the bat, and just what he does in the field, he’s a big part of this team,” said Eric Hosmer, whose two-run homer in the sixth scored the shortstop. “He sets the tone for us. … He’s really got things going right now.”
Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie (3-2) gave up two runs over five innings to win his second consecutive start.
Greg Holland worked the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances, even after consecutive two-out walks.
The Royals loaded the bases for Escobar in the fourth after consecutive singles, a sac bunt and a hit batsman — by the bottom four hitters in the lineup.
Detwiler was a starter before making 47 relief appearances last season for the Nationals, who traded him this winter.
“I still believe that he has good stuff,” Banister said. “Right now, he’s one of the five (starters).”
Two relievers made their Rangers debuts. Japanese right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa retired all three batters he faced in the eighth after coming off the DL (groin). He signed this winter after a two-season stint with the Chicago Cubs that included Tommy John ligament replacement surgery. Lefty Sam Freeman, the final cut when the Rangers set their opening day roster, gave up Hosmer’s homer in his 1 2-3 innings.
Escobar went 8 of 16 in the series and is hitting .318 for the season. … Hosmer had three hits and an 11-game hitting streak. … Rangers LF Carlos Peguero was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. He is hitless his last 15 at-bats, with nine strikeouts in that span.
Royals: OF Alex Rios, who broke a bone in his left hand when hit by a pitch a week into the season, is starting to hit balls off a tee. He has also been throwing, and did some long toss in the outfield before Thursday’s game. Manager Ned Yost says Rios is “definitely make progress” and is on schedule.
Rangers: CF Leonys Martin said his left wrist felt “weird a little bit” after a getting a cortisone injection Wednesday. But he said he felt no pain and was getting better. He initially hurt his wrist diving for a ball in the outfield at Houston last week, and aggravated that when he got jammed by a pitch at bat Monday night.
Royals: After a 4-3 trip, the Royals are set for their longest stretch at home so far this season. They have eight home games over 10 days, starting Friday night against the New York Yankees.
Rangers: Texas stays home for three games against Cleveland. Wandy Rodriguez (1-1), who set a franchise record retiring 34 consecutive batters over his last two starts, says he’s good to go for the series opener vs. the Indians after having back spasms in his last start Sunday in Houston.