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Rangers' offense unable to solve Duffy, KC

DeShields' 3-base error sets tone in debut for Bibens-Dirkx
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers, after their emotional and exhilarating victory over the Yankees, came out in a different state on Thursday night against the Royals.

They managed just four hits in 7 2/3 innings against Royals left-hander Danny Duffy and went quietly in an 8-2 loss at Globe Life Park. Duffy entered the game with a 6.88 ERA and had allowed 14 earned runs in 7 2/3 innings in his previous two starts. But the Rangers didn't score until the eighth on a double by Joey Gallo and a single by Rougned Odor.

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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers, after their emotional and exhilarating victory over the Yankees, came out in a different state on Thursday night against the Royals.

They managed just four hits in 7 2/3 innings against Royals left-hander Danny Duffy and went quietly in an 8-2 loss at Globe Life Park. Duffy entered the game with a 6.88 ERA and had allowed 14 earned runs in 7 2/3 innings in his previous two starts. But the Rangers didn't score until the eighth on a double by Joey Gallo and a single by Rougned Odor.

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Rangers manager Jeff Banister said it was more Duffy than a lack of a proper approach at the plate by his hitters.

"The approach is one thing, and then the pitcher can make you change your approach in situations when they're getting ahead of you, and they're throwing strikes, making quality pitches," Banister said. "It puts you down in the count, and that's when you've got to grind at-bats out. There were times that he wasn't having any of that. He had a good start tonight, there's not a whole lot you can say but that. Our guys went up there with a solid plan, they had a plan based on reports we saw, and then we saw a different guy tonight."

Video: KC@TEX: Banister discusses lineup's woes in 8-2 loss

Duffy has been tough on the Rangers over the past three seasons. He has made four starts against them and he's allowed just three runs in 30 1/3 innings.

"Recent past, I've done well against them, but that happens to a lot of teams," Duffy said. "Early on in my career, I did pretty well against the Indians, but they've done well against me as of late. You just kind of be confident in your stuff, trust what you've got and good things happen."

Rangers starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx was competitive in his first start after being called up from Triple-A Round Rock. But a couple of unearned runs in the second put the Rangers in an early hole and -- unlike against the Yankees -- they could never get out of it.

"Solid start, for me, from Austin," Banister said. "The second inning, he got two quick outs, a single, then we made a mistake behind him there, a two-run error, which was costly."

The Royals picked up the two runs after a two-out single by Ryan Goins. Ramon Torres followed with another single straight up the middle that center fielder Delino DeShields simply missed as he came in to field the ball. It rolled past him far enough to allow both runners to circle the bases.

Video: KC@TEX: Royals plate 2 on Torres' Little League HR

"I might have been too passive," DeShields said. "I know the grass in the outfield snakes. I got to it, didn't think the guy was going to third. I tried to get in front of it, but my glove was too deep and I didn't get it down. It kind of zagged away from me. You try to prevent those things from happening and then they happen."

Bibens-Dirkx gave up two more runs in the fifth. The Royals had the bases loaded with one out when Bibens-Dirkx struck out Mike Moustakas looking. That had the potential to be a game-changing moment, but Salvador Perez followed with a line-drive single to left to bring home two runs. Perez also drove in two with a single in the seventh off Matt Bush although the runs were charged to Bibens-Dirkx.

"Performance-wise, I thought I did pretty well," Bibens-Dirkx said. "I went deep in the game. Perez hit a pitcher's pitch. You have to tip your cap to him. Obviously, I came out of the game with two runners on. If I had gotten them, it would have been seven innings and I would have been happier than I am now."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
DeShields had the Rangers' only hit through six innings off Duffy, leading off the first with a single to right. Shin-Soo Choo was next and DeShields tried to advance on a pitch in the dirt blocked by catcher Perez. But the ball popped up, hit Choo in the face and plopped down right in front of Perez. He was able to throw out DeShields at second. More >

Video: KC@TEX: Perez gets carom off Choo's face, nabs runner

"Good read, I felt, by Delino," Banister said. "But with Pérez behind the plate, he's as quick as anybody, and he made a great play, threw him out, and kinda squashed any threat that we had early."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Isiah Kiner-Falefa continued to show his defensive prowess at third base with a terrific barehanded play on Alcides Escobar's slow chopper in the second inning.

Video: KC@TEX: Kiner-Falefa uses bare hand to retire Escobar

HE SAID IT
"I felt like as the outing for Matt progressed, he got back to using his fastball. There in the last inning, probably the most positive inning that he threw, where he stuck with the fastball and really got the fastball by these hitters, up in the zone." -- Banister, on Bush

UP NEXT
Rangers left-hander Mike Minor will take the mound at 7:05 p.m. CT on Friday against the Royals at Globe Life Park. Minor was a reliever for Kansas City last season and will be making his first start against his former club since 2013 when he was with the Braves. He is 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA in his past three starts. Lefty Eric Skoglund will start for the Royals.

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.

Texas Rangers, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Delino DeShields