ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kyle Gibson showed the Kansas City Royals what an anomaly his opening-day start against them was, and just how good he has been for the Texas Rangers the rest of this season.
Joey Gallo sent balls nearly 900 feet with two big swings.
Gibson had a season-high 10 strikeouts over seven innings, Gallo hit two massive homers and the Rangers beat Kansas City 8-0 on Saturday, ending a more than month-long stretch without winning a series — or even consecutive games.
Gibson (6-0) allowed only three base runners, on consecutive singles and a walk to start the fifth, before getting out of that bases-loaded jam.
It was the 16th consecutive start for Gibson without a loss, including his 2020 finale before the first opening day start of his career April 1 at Kansas City, when he gave up five runs while recording only one out after the Rangers had scored five times in the top of the first. The Royals never crossed the plate this time.
“This guy has been dominant,” manager Chris Woodward said. “Outside of the game one, he’s been absolutely dominant.”
The veteran right-hander, whose ERA was 135.00 after the opener in Kansas City, now leads the American League at 2.00 after allowing only 15 earned runs over 89 2/3 innings in his last 14 starts.
Gallo hit a 451-foot homer in the fourth inning, a three-run shot that landed in the seats beyond and above the Rangers bullpen in right-center for a 6-0 lead. His two-run shot in the eighth was a towering 445-foot blast that hit the top of the batter's eye in straightaway center field. He has 15 homers this season, four in the last seven games, and the five RBIs matched a career high.
“I’ve been feeling good at the plate. Today, got some results, got some pitches to hit, and and I didn’t miss them,” Gallo said. "At the end of the day, that’s the plan.”
Before taking the first two of the three-game series against Kansas City, the Rangers (29-48) hadn’t won consecutive games or a series since a three-game sweep of Houston from May 20-22, and had gone 0-7-2 in their last nine series. Kansas City has lost four games in a row, and 15 of 20.
Gibson had five strikeouts in a row in one stretch while retiring the first Royals 12 batters. The fourth ended with shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s leaping catch of a liner, which created thoughts of a possible no-hitter.
“It probably showed up a little bit more in my mind after that fourth inning when Kiner made that great play,” Gibson said. “I guess I’m always kind of thinking about that. I don’t ever want to give up a hit, a run. Whenever you go to the lineup the first time, and especially once you get into the fifth, it starts to creep into your head.”
The no-hit bid ended on Ryan O’Hearn’s leadoff single up to the middle to start the fifth. Kelvin Gutierrez then had an infield single before a walk to Jorge Soler. But Jarrod Dyson then struck out and Michael A. Taylor grounded into a double play on a chopper to third baseman Brock Holt to miss their best scoring chance.
“I faced that that guy in the past before, and he definitely looked better today than I remember,” O’Hearn said. “That was our shot right there ... a point in the game where we needed to capitalize”
The Rangers went ahead 3-0 in the second, after Kris Bubic (2-3) took over for opener Kyler Zimmer and hit Willie Calhoun with a pitch to start the inning that fractured the left forearm of the designated hitter. Jose Trevino had a two-run double and rookie Adolis Garcia got his 54th RB I on a single between two walks.
“Just couldn’t really get in a rhythm with anything,” Bubic said. “I didn’t do my job and put the team in a pretty tough spot.”
Royals: Manager Mike Matheny said lefty Danny Duffy is feeling good, and that the Royals would “like to keep him that way.” Duffy on Friday night made only his second relief appearance in 122 games since becoming a full-time starter during the 2016 season. He threw two innings in his start Wednesday, when he came back from missing six weeks with a forearm flexor strain.
Rangers: Calhoun initially stayed in the game, though he kept grabbing near his left wrist while on the bases before scoring on Trevino's double. Andy Ibañez replaced Calhoun at DH in the third. Woodward said the Rangers didn't a full prognosis, but Calhoun will miss significant time.
Jordan Lyles (2-5, 5.47 ERA) returns to the starter’s role for Texas after six solid innings in relief when the righty pitched out of the bullpen in what was supposed to be his last turn. RHP Brady Singer (3-5, 4.77) starts for the Royals.
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