Rougned Odor homered twice, Willie Calhoun went deep for the second straight day and the Texas Rangers hit five homers in all as they routed the Kansas City Royals 16-1 on Thursday in the rubber game of their three-game set.
Joey Gallo went deep among his four hits, and Hunter Pence also homered, making life so tough on the Royals’ pitching staff that manager Ned Yost resorted to using utility man Chris Owings on the mound the last two innings. It was his first appearance as a pitcher in a big league game.
Calhoun also had a two-run single and finished with four hits for the Rangers, who bounced back from a drubbing in the series opener to take the next two games. That gave Texas its first road series win in nine tries dating to last September in San Diego.
Lance Lynn (5-3) allowed a run in the first but little else for the Rangers, going seven innings in a solid start. He allowed six hits and a walk while striking out five.
Homer Bailey (4-4) allowed six runs, eight hits and four walks in an all-around dismal day for the Kansas City pitching staff. Brad Boxberger coughed up three runs in relief of him as the Royals lost the rubber game of a series for the 13th consecutive time dating to last season.
Kansas City actually struck first when youngster Nicky Lopez capped a solid debut series with an RBI double in the first inning. But Lynn and the Rangers controlled the game the rest of the way.
They pulled even on Gallo’s homer to left leading off the fourth, then battered Bailey and the bullpen by sending five runs across during the fifth inning.
It started with a leadoff walk to Isaih Kiner-Falefa, continued with consecutive singles by Danny Santana, Calhoun and Nomar Mazara, and included two more walks by Bailey that sent in a run.
The veteran right-hander was finally yanked from the game, and Brad Boxberger appeared to have the Royals out of the inning when he induced Odor to hit a groundball. First baseman Ryan O’Hearn was able to field the ball cleanly but threw it away, keeping their misery going.
Texas pushed across three more runs in the sixth, drawing a trio of walks off Boxberger and former closer Wily Peralta. It was the second straight inning the Rangers batted through the order.
Lopez was the Royals’ lone bright spot. Along with an RBI double, the 24-year-old rookie doubled in the third and drew a walk in the sixth while playing solid defense at solid second base.
STATS AND STREAKS
The Rangers have won five of six against Kansas City. They also have won nine of their last 11 at Kauffman Stadium. … Texas had lost 15 of 20 on the road. … The Royals had committed a league-low 14 errors before O’Hearn’s miscue in the fifth inning. … Owings allowed four runs on six hits and a walk while retiring five batters, giving him a 21.60 ERA for his career.
The Rangers intend to use openers the first two games of their weekend series against St. Louis, though manager Chris Woodward was not ready to say who they will be. The Royals head to Los Angeles to face the Angels on Friday night with Brad Keller (2-4, 4.47 ERA) on the mound.