Gallo homers again, Lyles strong as Rangers beat Royals 4-1

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)Joey Gallo homered again, Jordan Lyles pitched seven strong innings after getting bumped from the rotation for one start, and the Texas Rangers finished a three-game sweep with a 4-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

The last-place Rangers have won three consecutive games for the first time since sweeping Houston at home from May 21-23, which they followed with an 0-9 trip on the way to tying a franchise record with 16 straight road losses.

Texas is headed on the road again this time, a six-game trip that starts Tuesday at Oakland. The Rangers had a 3-19 slide after the sweep of Houston but now have won five of seven.

”I’ve told this team many times, we’re obviously young, there’s obviously a lot of growth and development going on,” manager Chris Woodward said. ”At the same time, we’re competitive. We want to win. What we went through before was kind of important for us to get through and come out the other side.”

Whit Merrifield had an RBI single among three hits as the Royals lost their fifth straight on a 10-game trip that matches their longest of the season. Kansas City is 4-17 since a five-game winning streak that put the club three games over .500.

”We’ve got to try to stay even keel through the ups and downs,” Merrifield said. ”We seem to get really down when things don’t go well and really high when things go well. You can be really hard on yourself every day in this game when things aren’t going well.”

Gallo’s two-run shot to the opposite field in left – his 16th of season and third in two games – came right after Adolis Garcia’s RBI triple in a three-run first inning against Brady Singer, whose throwing error allowed leadoff hitter Isiah Kiner-Falefa to reach.

Kiner-Falefa, Garcia and Gallo all reached after falling behind 0-2 against Singer (3-6). The right-hander responded with four scoreless innings, striking out five in five innings.

”Today it was self-induced trouble with an error and then 0-2 pitches,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. ”Part of this is young pitchers learning tough lessons. I think really just a couple of mistakes and after that he threw the ball really well.”

Lyles (3-5) allowed seven hits – all singles – and a run with no walks and four strikeouts in his longest outing this year.

He was coming off a long relief stint on Tuesday in what would have been his day to start. Lyles allowed two runs in six innings after replacement Taylor Hearn couldn’t get out of the first inning.

Spencer Patton got Jorge Soler on an inning-ending double play in the eighth with two runners on, and Ian Kennedy struck out two in a seven-pitch ninth for his 13th save.

Kansas City matched a season high with three errors, two by third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez. His second miscue with two outs in the sixth allowed Eli White to score the second unearned run for Texas.

STILL A WAYS TO GO

Merrifield’s fourth three-hit game of the season came in his 383rd consecutive game played, the longest active streak in the majors. The 32-year-old would have to play another 14-plus seasons without missing a game to catch Cal Ripken Jr.’s record of 2,632 consecutive games.

ALL-STAR CHATTER

Garcia singled before striking out in his final two at-bats a few hours after the 28-year-old Cuban rookie was named one of nine finalists among AL outfielders in All-Star voting. Garcia finished fifth in the first phase of voting.

”I would love it very much to go and represent the team,” Garcia said through a translator. ”I’ve worked extremely hard and to get presented with something like that would be extremely great.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: OF/DH Willie Calhoun went on the injured list a day after his left forearm was broken when he was hit by a pitch. OF Jason Martin was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock. The Rangers didn’t have more details on Calhoun, whose jaw was broken when he was hit by a pitch in spring training last year. … Woodward said OF David Dahl (left rib cage injury) wasn’t the choice to replace Calhoun because the club wasn’t ready to end his minor league rehab assignment. Dahl has been out since May 26.

UP NEXT

Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (4-3, 1.81 ERA) is set for the opener of a four-game series at Boston on Monday. Duffy, who has made eight starts, is coming off his first relief appearance of the season, a scoreless inning in the series opener against the Rangers. Duffy is 0-6 with a 7.26 ERA in eight starts against Boston.

Rangers: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (1-7, 5.40) is scheduled for the opener against the Athletics. Foltynewicz took a shutout into the seventh inning of a 5-3 win over the A’s in his previous start. He allowed two runs in six-plus innings after giving up 16 earned runs in 11 1/3 innings in his previous three June starts.

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