Major League Baseball
Preview
Kansas City at Texas
When: 8:05 PM ET, Thursday, May 24, 2018
Where: Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas

The Texas Rangers racked up the runs during a confidence-building series against the New York Yankees and look to continue the production when they open a four-game series versus the visiting Kansas City Royals on Thursday. Texas belted seven homers and produced 23 runs while winning two of three from New York, including Wednesday's 12-10 triumph.

Nomar Mazara and Ronald Guzman each homered and were among four Rangers - Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jurickson Profar were the others - to drive in three runs in Wednesday's slugfest. Guzman went deep in each game of the series, going 5-for-10 overall in the set, while Profar has collected six RBIs over his last two contests. Kansas City posted a 5-2, 10-inning victory on Wednesday to take two of three from St. Louis and win a road series for the first time this season. "We needed that," Royals catcher Sal Butera told reporters after delivering the tiebreaking two-run single in the 10th. "We fought hard all three games and guys did a great job on both ends, and our bullpen did a great job."

TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, FS Kansas City, FS Southwest (Texas)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals LH Danny Duffy (1-6, 6.88 ERA) vs. Rangers RH Austin Bibens-Dirkx (2017: 5-2, 4.67)

Duffy is having a poor season, and things really have unraveled over his last two starts as he has given up 14 runs and 15 hits - four homers - while issuing eight walks in just 7 1/3 innings. The 29-year-old already has served up 14 homers in just 51 frames after allowing a total of 13 over 146 1/3 innings last season. Duffy is 1-2 with a 3.25 ERA in six career starts against the Rangers.

Bibens-Dirkx is being recalled to make his seventh career start in the rotation spot typically filled by Matt Moore, who went on the disabled list with a knee injury. The 33-year-old was 2-3 with a 3.72 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in eight turns for Triple-A Round Rock, registering 32 strikeouts against eight walks over 38 2/3 innings. Bibens-Dirkx, who didn't face the Royals last season - his first in the majors, recorded a porous 5.97 ERA over 12 home appearances (three starts) in 2017.

WALK-OFFS

1. The Rangers served up 12 homers in the series against the Yankees.

2. Texas 3B Adrian Beltre (hamstring) took batting practice Wednesday for the first time since being injured on May 13 but remains unlikely to return until early June.

3. Kansas City C Salvador Perez started at first base for the first time since 2013 in Wednesday's game against the Cardinals and belted his eighth homer of the campaign.

PREDICTION: Rangers 7, Royals 6
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Kansas City 16-33 W2 7-18 9-15 3-12 10-13 1-5 2-3
Texas 19-31 W1 8-17 11-14 6-9 4-6 9-16 0-0
Last Meeting
Kansas City Texas
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/16/17 TEX 3 KC 4 .257 0 .648 .219 2 .702
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City N/A
Texas N/A
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City J. Adam 0 0 0
Texas H. Alberto 0 0 0
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 0.00 .000 0
Texas 0.00 .000 0
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City J. Jay .293 55 .690
Texas N. Mazara .270 50 .830
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City M. Moustakas 10 27 31
Texas J. Gallo 14 27 31
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 5.39 .254 344
Texas 4.78 .224 380