C.J. Wilson struck out ten in seven innings, as the Rangers completed a weekend sweep of the Royals with an 8-7 win on Sunday. Wilson, now 3-0 on the season, allowed early solo home runs by Mike Aviles and Jeff Francoeur that were offset by solo shots from Mike Napoli and Adrian Beltre.
Texas broke the game open in the fifth by batting around and plating six. Andres Blanco of all people led that inning off with another solo shot, and the Rangers used four walks, a single by Michael Young, and a bases clearing double by David Murphy to add five more.
Wilson allowed two more runs in the seventh and left with an 8-4 lead. Brett Tomko pitched the eighth and retired the Royals in order, and he struck out the first two batters in the ninth. But a single and a double preceded Mike Aviles’ second homer of the day, as he wrapped one around the pole in left and narrowed the score to an uncomfortable 8-7.
Ron Washington called on Arthur Rhodes to turn Melky Cabrera around to his weaker right side, and Rhodes did the job by inducing a grounder to Blanco. It was Rhodes’ first save since 2008 and just the 33rd of his career. The Rangers have now played two of a minimum of 13 games without closer Neftali Feliz and have seen their 40+ lefties handle the job.
The series sweep is the third of the season for Texas and their fourth series win. They swept the Red Sox and Mariners to start the season and took two of three in Baltimore, before taking the first and losing the last two in series at Detroit and New York and at home against the Angels.