Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Kansas City won 2-1

Game 1: Tuesday, May 18
Kansas City7Final
Texas6
Game 2: Wednesday, May 19
Kansas City5Final
Texas3
Game 3: Thursday, May 20
Kansas City3Final
Texas6

Royals 3

(13-25, 5-15 away)

Rangers 6

(23-17, 14-8 home)

    8:05 PM ET, May 20, 2004

    Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    KC 200100000 3 11 1
    TEX 05100000 - 6 12 1

    W: K. Rogers (6-2)

    L: D. May (1-6)

    S: F. Cordero (13)

    Texas 6, Kansas City 3

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Rod Barajas will find himself in the starting lineup for the Texas Rangers a lot more often.

    The backup catcher showed he's up to the task.

    Barajas replaced an injured Gerald Laird and hit a three-run double, and Hank Blalock had a two-run homer in a five-run second inning as the Rangers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.

    "When you're called upon, you need to be ready to help the team," said Barajas, 13-for-28 over his last eight games to raise his average to .326.

    Barajas entered in the second inning in place of Laird, who tore a ligament in his left thumb on a tag play in the first inning.

    Laird will have an MRI on Friday morning to determine the extent of the damage, but the Rangers fear he could be out for an extended period.

    "It's obvious he'll be on the (disabled list)," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "He could be back by August, which would be three months, or maybe we'll find out tomorrow that it's not that bad."

    Laird was on his way to a breakout season, starting the night leading AL rookies in hits (27), runs (14), batting average (.307) and on-base percentage (.374).

    "It's pretty frustrating," said Laird, staring at his badly swollen thumb. "I was off to a good start and hopefully this was going to be a big year for me."

    Barajas went 3-for-4 with two doubles. His bases-clearing double in the second turned the momentum back on the Rangers' favor after they fell behind in the first inning 2-0.

    "It's tough (for Laird)," Barajas said. "He was having a great rookie campaign. I feel bad for him, but I'm excited because I love to play baseball every day. This isn't how I wanted the opportunity, but I want to take advantage."

    Kevin Mench also homered for the Rangers, who lost four of five.

    The Rangers wanted to get back on track with former teammate Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees coming to Texas on Friday for a three-game series.

    "But it doesn't matter who you're playing next, you don't want it to snowball," Barajas said.

    Rangers starter Kenny Rogers (6-2) allowed three runs and 10 hits over 6 2-3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.

    Francisco Cordero got three outs for his 13th save in as many chances.

    Ken Harvey and Adrian Brown had two hits each for the Royals, who went without a homer after hitting six while winning the first two games of the three-game series.

    "We had our chances to score some runs, but we couldn't get the big hit," Royals manager Tony Pena said.

    The Royals took a 2-0 lead in an odd first inning.

    Harvey hit a bases-loaded grounder that was headed toward Rangers shortstop Michael Young, who was set to attempt to start a double play. But the ball struck the foot of baserunner Mike Sweeney between second and third base before it could reach Young, with Sweeney being called out and Harvey credited with a single to keep the bases loaded.

    Rogers hit Joe Randa with a pitch to force in one run. Benito Santiago followed with a single that drove in Juan Gonzalez from third, but Harvey was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second while Laird injured his thumb as he applied the tag.

    Laird said the thumb on his glove hand was crushed by Harvey's shin in the play at the plate.

    "I felt pain and when I took the glove off, it was already swelling," Laird said.

    Texas rallied to take a 5-2 lead against Darrell May (1-6) in the second, loading the bases with one out. Mench led off with a single, Eric Young reached on third baseman Randa's fielding error. After an out, Laynce Nix singled to load the bases and Barajas followed with his three-run double. One later, Blalock hit his 12th homer.

    Mench's solo homer in the third extended Texas' advantage to 6-2. Angel Berroa's sacrifice fly in the fourth made it 6-3.

    May allowed six runs and eight hits over four-plus innings.

    Game notes


    Showalter argued that Sweeney didn't make an effort to get out of the way of the ball that hit him in the first. If Showalter prevailed, the Rangers would have been credited with a double play. "If it (Sweeney getting hit with the ball) was on purpose, it was a great play because he didn't get caught," Michael Young said. ... Barajas hadn't played since last Friday. ... Rangers SS Young had his 22nd multihit game, tops in the majors. ... Rogers has pitched into the seventh inning seven times in nine starts.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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