ARLINGTON -- Rangers first baseman Ronald Guzman keeps saying he is not a home run hitter. He keeps losing credibility with each game.Guzman homered in his fourth straight start in helping the Rangers hold off the Royals for an 8-4 win on Friday night at Globe Life Park. Shin-Soo Choo
ARLINGTON -- Rangers first baseman Ronald Guzman keeps saying he is not a home run hitter. He keeps losing credibility with each game.
Guzman homered in his fourth straight start in helping the Rangers hold off the Royals for an 8-4 win on Friday night at Globe Life Park. Shin-Soo Choo and Nomar Mazara also went deep as the Rangers regained the power surge that helped them win two of three from the Yankees to start the homestand.
"I don't really know what to think," Guzman said. "I'm just seeing the ball a lot better now. Trying to put good swings on the ball. I'm still saying I'm not a home run hitter."
The Rangers hit seven home runs in three games against the Yanks before missing out on Thursday night against Royals left-hander Danny Duffy. Guzman, who struck out in a late-inning at-bat on Thursday, was back in the lineup to lead the assault against Royals lefty Eric Skoglund.
All three home runs came off Skoglund. This is the first time that three left-handed hitters for the Rangers have hit a home run off left-handed pitching in the same game since Pat Putnam, Mickey Rivers and Al Oliver did it in 1980 against the Royals.
Choo hit the Rangers' first home run of the night in the first inning. It was his seventh home run of the season, but just his second in the last 32 games. It was also his 175th career home run, which ties him with Japan's Hideki Matsui for most ever by a Major League player from the Far East.
Guzman's home run was the one that put the Rangers ahead for good. He came up with one out and Robinson Chirinos on first in the fourth inning with the Rangers trailing by one. Guzman went for the first pitch and smashed a hanging curveball over the right-field wall for a two-run home run and a 4-3 lead.
"Look, he's a big, strong guy," manager Jeff Banister said. "I know the power wasn't necessarily the thing in the Minor Leagues, but he's a good hitter. I think early on, he was a young guy who came up probably trying to do too much, a little anxious in the batter's box. In Houston, we had a conversation about getting his hands more engaged in his swing and staying on his legs. I think that's what you're seeing. He's able to get the barrel to the baseball and able to leverage the ball. But this is a big, strong guy."
Mazara made it 6-3 in the fifth with a two-run home run off of Skoglund. It was his 12th of the season, but not his usual blast somewhere hard and deep into the right-field seats. This was a high fly ball down the left-field line that hit off the top of the wall and bounced over.
Guzman also had a run-scoring triple in the eighth and scored on a squeeze bunt by Delino DeShields.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.