Ronald Guzman and Willie Calhoun each hit a two-run homer, and the Texas Rangers cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
Shin-Soo Choo added a solo shot in the ninth inning and Nomar Mazara matched a career high with four hits as the Rangers snapped a five-game skid. They have won six of their last eight against Kansas City, including an 11-5 loss in the series opener Tuesday.
Mike Minor (4-3) got through five rocky innings, allowing one run on eight hits and two walks.
Guzman drove in a run in the fourth before sending a hanging pitch from Jorge Lopez (0-5) booming into the center field seats in the sixth. The two-out shot broke open a 3-1 game and sent Lopez, who had plunked two batters and struggled with command all night, trudging toward the showers.
Lopez allowed seven hits and two walks while striking out seven.
Calhoun, called up from Triple-A Nashville before the game, got the Rangers off to a good start. The erstwhile elite prospect sent a first-inning pitch from Lopez soaring into the seats over the right-field bullpen, the no-doubt shot staking Texas to a 2-0 lead.
Kansas City answered by manufacturing a run in the bottom half against Minor, whose last appearance at Kauffman Stadium came as the Royals’ closer in the final game of the 2017 season. But after Adalberto Mondesi’s RBI single, the veteran left-hander escaped the rest of the inning unscathed.
It wasn’t the last time he negotiated trouble.
Minor also stranded runners on second and third in the second and fourth, and he pinned another runner 90 feet from home in the fifth. By the time that inning ending, Minor had survived a shaky night and has still allowed just 11 earned runs over his last 55 innings.
The Rangers’ bullpen allowed only one hit over the final four innings.