Royals score early, blow out Rangers 11-5 in series opener

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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – MAY 14: Nicky Lopez #1 of the Kansas City Royals celebrates his first Major League hit for a single in the seventh inning as first base coach Mitch Maier looks on during the game against the Texas Rangers at Kauffman Stadium on May 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by […]

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Hunter Dozier drove in three runs, top prospect Nicky Lopez had an RBI single in his big league debut, and the Kansas City Royals routed the Texas Rangers 11-5 on Tuesday night.

Alex Gordon and Jorge Soler also drove in two runs apiece for the Royals, who scored nine times in the first two innings while quickly knocking Rangers starter Shelby Miller from the game.

Danny Duffy (2-1) was only marginally better for Kansas City, using 107 pitches just to survive five innings. He allowed four runs, seven hits and a walk while striking out seven.

Miller (1-3) was pulled with two outs in the second. The veteran right-hander allowed eight runs and seven hits with two walks in another ugly performance in his return from Tommy John surgery.

Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus left with tightness in his right hamstring after grounding out to end the seventh inning. He will be evaluated again Wednesday in another blow to a team that has lost five straight to fall a season-worst five games below .500.

The Royals pounced on Miller right from the start, sending seven to the plate in the first inning and jumping out to a 3-0 lead. But they cracked the game open in the second, when they sent 11 batters to the plate and drove in six runs against Miller and Rangers reliever Wei-Chieh Huang.

The stunning offensive outburst came after Kansas City managed six singles and no extra-base hits in a loss to the Phillies on Sunday. And it came after the arrival of second baseman Nicky Lopez, one of their top prospects, who got the start at second base and hit second in the lineup.

He walked in the third before his first career hit, a two-out single in the seventh inning.

Joey Gallo had a pair of RBIs for the Rangers, who tried to climb back into the game with a four-run third. But they stranded runners in four consecutive innings, repeatedly failing to get the crucial hit they needed to avoid a 1-6 start to their nine-game, 10-day road trip.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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