KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Look out for the Rangers if Geovany Soto joins the hit parade on a consistent basis.
Soto, who entered Monday hitting .232 with two homers in 24 games since coming to Texas, got the Rangers off and running with a three-run homer in the second inning off Bruce Chen. Texas never looked back in an 8-4 victory over the Royals.
Soto may soon consider Kauffman Stadium his favorite ballpark. In five career games against the Royals, Soto has three homers and all have come at Kauffman. He hit two for the Cubs last year when Chicago visited Kansas City for an interleague series.
“I was just looking for a ball that was up,” Soto said. “I know that Bruce Chen is a good pitcher who works on the corners.”
Soto had the pleasure of catching Yu Darvish on Monday. The right-hander had a perfect game going through 5 2/3 innings.
“His fastball command has been the thing that I think has put him over the top,” Soto said. “He’s getting early outs. And then if he happens to go deep in the count, he’s got the breaking pitches to put them away.”
With Soto providing the jump start, the Rangers went on a home run tear in the opener of their four-game series in Kansas City. Texas finished the game with five homers, one off its season high. The Rangers hit six homers April 17 at Boston.
“The ball was flying today,” said Rangers left fielder David Murphy. “Bruce Chen is not an overpowering guy. If he makes mistakes up in the zone or in the middle of the plate, we’ve got some guys that can do some damage.”
That list includes Geovany Soto.