Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals
- The Royals took two of three games at Texas last week. And after winning their most recent home game against the Rangers last September 22, the Royals will try to post consecutive victories versus Texas at Kauffman Stadium for the first time since 2007.
- After going 8-1 on Labor Day between 1998 and 2006, the Rangers have stumbled to a 1-5 record (.167) on the holiday since 2007. No other American League team has posted a winning percentage below .400 on Labor Day over the past seven seasons (minimum 2 games).
- The Royals' game with Cleveland was suspended due to rain in the 10th inning last night, with Kansas City trailing the Indians, 4-2. The game will resume on September 22. With a 0.5-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central, it's the first time the Royals have entered Labor Day in first place since 1982, when they led the California Angels by 2.0 games.
- Colby Lewis is 3-2 with a 3.05 ERA over six starts versus the AL Central this season. That compares favorably to his mark of 6-9 with a 6.36 ERA over 18 starts against the rest of baseball.
- Yordano Ventura's 3.40 ERA is the lowest by any Royals rookie since Kevin Appier's 2.76 ERA in 1990 (minimum 20 starts). Ventura has tossed six consecutive quality starts, going 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA since July 25.
- Alex Gordon drove in both Royals runs Sunday night, the second coming on a game-tying solo homer in the ninth inning. It was Gordon's ninth home run in August, matching his total over the previous four months combined. He had never before slugged more than five homers in any month of his career.
- Kershaw wins 19th, Dodgers' lead now 3
- Keuchel, Astros end Angels' run at 10
- O's rally with 2 in 9th, magic number 3
- Kinsler's HR helps Tigers sweep Indians
- A's blank M's to extend wild-card lead
(AP) -- The Kansas City Royals are still in first place in the AL Central but can't feel good about that the way things are going.
Getting to face Colby Lewis on Monday night could make them feel a little better.
The Royals have battered Lewis in the past and will look to end a three-game slide when they host the woeful Texas Rangers.
Kansas City (74-61) nearly dropped into a tie for first place in the division but its Sunday night game with Cleveland was suspended with the Indians leading 4-2 in the middle of the 10th inning. It will be completed Sept. 22 in Ohio.
The Royals remained one-half game ahead of Detroit. They scored five runs over the weekend including Sunday and will now turn their attention to trying to complete this homestand in strong fashion in a three-game series against baseball's worst team.
"If we're still in a funk then we're in trouble," manager Ned Yost said. "We'll find a way to battle through it."
Kansas City could feel better about what it can do at the plate against Lewis (9-11, 5.44 ERA), who is 1-3 with a 6.92 ERA in five career starts against the Royals.
The right-hander gave up four runs in six innings in a 6-3 home loss Aug. 22. That marked his third straight defeat before he ended that slide Wednesday by striking out seven in a seven-hitter to earn a 12-4 win at Seattle.
Lewis has notched complete games in his last two road starts. He'll be wary of Josh Willingham, who is 8 for 24 with two homers against him.
The Royals will give the ball to Yordano Ventura (10-9, 3.40), who had his scheduled start Wednesday against Minnesota scratched due to a sore back.
"As a precaution we think it's smarter to go ahead and bang him one start and go from there," Yost said earlier in the week.
The back issue flared up when Ventura earned the Aug. 22 win by limiting the Rangers to one run in six innings in his lone career start against them.
The Royals have won all three of his home starts since the All-Star break, with the right-hander going 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA.
Texas (53-83) is also searching for offense after scoring two runs in its last 18 innings, falling 3-2 at Houston on Sunday.
The Rangers led 2-1 in the sixth inning and manager Ron Washington lamented his team's inability to add to the score. Texas left six on base and was 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
"We put ourselves in position to maybe add on and didn't do it," he said. "We still had the lead going into the part of the game where we had our two best pitchers in there."
Adrian Beltre was 0 for 2 with two walks to see his average drop to .324 - 12 points behind major league batting leader Jose Altuve, who had four hits off Texas pitching.
Beltre is batting .439 with four homers and 11 RBIs during a 17-game hitting streak against the Royals.
Lorenzo Cain was 6 for 11, Mike Moustakas 4 for 10 and Billy Butler homered twice as the Royals took two of three at Texas last month.
Updated September 1, 2014