Despite jumping out to an early lead, the Kansas City Royals dropped their series opener against the Texas Rangers 9-4 tonight in Arlington, Texas.
The loss drops the Royals to 1-3 on their road trip and 33-41 on the season. Texas advances to 28-48.
Here are three things I took away from tonight's game.
The Royals were bit by the big inning.
It's tough to win when the other team hangs crooked numbers on the scoreboard and Kansas City got a firsthand look at that tonight. Thanks to a four-run fourth and a five-run sixth, the Rangers were able to run away with this one. The Royals tried to get the most out of Mike Minor as tomorrow's starting pitcher is still in doubt. but he gave up a career-high nine earned runs in five innings.
The Rangers didn't play like a team 20 games under .500.
Texas really flashed the leather in tonight's game, taking away hits and runs from the Royals left and right. Charlie Culberson provided some big plays for the home team as the Royals couldn't really find any gaps in the outfield. It wasn't only in the field where the Rangers played well, it was at the plate too. Texas recorded 13 hits on the night as the bottom four in the Rangers lineup went a combined 9-for-16 with seven RBIs.
Danny Duffy continues to build up to regular strength.
While we only saw him for 17 pitches tonight, Danny Duffy pitched well in one inning of relief. The 32-year-old allowed no hits and struck out one. The bullpen has been beaten up pretty bad already on this road trip and getting Duffy back to full health to where he can throw regular innings will be important to the durability of the bullpen. Even though it's a baby step, it's a baby step in the right direction.