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Royals fall 3-1 to Rangers in series finale

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It's a strangle world we live in when the Royals losing to the Rangers on the road feels disappointing.

Ronald Martinez

The Kansas City Royals turned in a poor performance in the series finale against the Texas Rangers, falling 3-1 on Sunday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The Rangers jumped on Vargas early, scoring a run in the bottom half of the first. Daniel Robertson smacked a double to right field, then Elvis Andrus worked a walk to put two runners on. Adrian Beltre followed with a one-out double down the left field line, scoring Robertson. Andrus attempted to score on the play as well, but Alex Gordon corralled the ball quickly and fired it to Alcides Escobar, who threw a strike to Salvador Perez, nailing Andrus at home.

Vargas surrendered a second run in the next inning. Leonys Martin reached base with a bunt single, advancing to second on a Vargas' error. Martin scored on an Adam Rosales double; Mike Moustakas nearly made a great leaping catch on the ball, but it deflected off his glove instead, allowing the fleet-footed Martin to score easily.

Alex Rios led off the bottom of the third inning with a double against Vargas, scoring later in the inning on a Robinson Chirinos single. Rios' was the final runner to score against Vargas and the Royals, but Texas had plenty of opportunities to add to their lead. Vargas ended up pitching six innings, allowing at least one baserunner in each frame.

The Rangers collected 11 hits and four walks against Vargas, but only scored three runs. Texas ended up stranding 11 baserunners against the southpaw; the game looked like it was going to turn into a blowout multiple times, but Vargas and the defense buckled down when they absolutely had to.

Unfortunately, the offense turned in a lackluster performance against Scott Baker. Baker tossed five innings, giving up one run on five hits. Kansas City's only run came on a Billy Butler solo shot; Butler jumped on a hanging curveball, smoking the pitch down the left field line for his ninth dinger of the year.

The Royals offense looked lifeless against the Rangers bullpen as well. Shawn Tolleson worked two perfect innings, while Neal Cotts tossed a scoreless eighth. Raul Ibanez did manage a two-out single against Neftali Feliz in the ninth, but Lorenzo Cain followed with a groundout to Andrus, ending the game.

It definitely wasn't the Royals' best performance, but they weren't going to run the table the rest of the season. Overall, Kansas City went 6-3 on the road trip, and are still 2 1/2 games up on the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. It would have been nice to win this game, but if the Royals come home and take care of business against the Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians this week, people will quickly forget this loss.

The Royals will face the New York Yankees on Monday before welcoming their AL Central foes; the game is a makeup from June 9th, which was postponed due to rain. James Shields will start the game against New York, facing off against Michael Pineda.