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Royals Try To Close Out Series Against Rangers On A Good Note

Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Mitch Moreland's solo home run leading off the sixth inning proved to be the difference, as the Texas Rangers clipped Kansas City, 4-3, in the rubber match of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

Nelson Cruz stroked a two-run single and Andres Blanco added an RBI double for the Rangers, who now boast a 9 1/2 game lead over second-place Oakland in the American League West standings.

Tommy Hunter (12-2) gave up two runs on seven hits and walked four in 5 2/3 innings to pick up the win.

Yuniesky Betancourt hit a solo home run and an RBI double for the Royals, while Bryan Bullington (1-4) yielded four runs and eight hits over 5 1/3 innings to absorb the loss.

Cruz staked Texas to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but a sacrifice fly by Mike Aviles halved the Royals' deficit in the third.

"Walking the leadoff guy and still having a chance to get out of the inning, Cruz hit a six-hopper just in the right spot to get through and score the two that ended up being the difference," Bullington said.

Moreland walked to open the fourth, took second on a groundout and came home on Blanco's double.

Betancourt went deep in the bottom of the inning, but Moreland's blast restored Texas' two-run lead in the sixth.

"I was happy to do it at that time to be able to help this team," Moreland said. "They don't need too much help, so I just try to do what I can and I'm happy I could contribute tonight and we can walk out of here with the series (win)."

The Royals got a run back in the seventh and were threatening for more. Aviles led off with a double off Texas reliever Darren O'Day and advanced to third on a fly ball. Darren Oliver replaced O'Day following a one-out walk to Billy Butler.

Oliver retired Kila Ka'aihue on a soft liner to third, but Betancourt ripped a double to right field to trim the deficit to 4-3. Oliver, though, got Alex Gordon on a grounder to shortstop to preserve the one-run lead.

Neftali Feliz pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 34th save of the season.

Outfielder Josh Hamilton was held out of Texas' lineup Wednesday with a sore right knee...The Rangers finished 7-2 against the Royals in the season series...Kansas City catcher Jason Kendall is scheduled to have season-ending surgery on his right shoulder Friday.