Jose Offerman is on the best streak of his life.
The six-year veteran has eight multi-hit games in nine starts and has raised his average from .255 to .320. He doubled during a four-run second inning Sunday as Kansas City defeated Texas, 4-2, and knocked the Rangers out of first place in the AL West.
“The way I’ve been seeing the ball and the way I’ve been hitting the ball, I don’t think it could be any better than that,” the former Dodger shortstop said. “When I’m swinging the bat this way, there’s nothing better.”
After losing the opener in the four-game series Thursday night, the Royals took three in a row, matching the Rangers’ longest skid of the season.
Texas, which had either held or shared first place since May 16, fell one game behind Seattle.
The Royals won their third in a row, tying their best streak of the year.
Tim Belcher (7-6) got his second consecutive victory, going six innings and giving up six hits and two runs.
Hipolito Pichardo relieved to start the ninth and Dean Palmer led off with a hard grounder off the pitcher’s right arm. Pichardo picked up the ball and threw out Palmer, but had to leave the game.
“It got all meat, but it got him awful good,” Royal Manager Bob Boone said.
Pichardo will undergo an MRI today.
Mike Williams took over and got his first major league save.
Ken Hill (4-4) gave up seven hits and four runs in five innings.
“We’re not swinging the bats so well right now,” Texas Manager Johnny Oates said. “I’m not going to take anything away from the way Kansas City pitched us. But we’re not swinging the bats well.”
The Royals had two out and none on when Craig Paquette’s single launched the four-run burst in the second. After Mike Macfarlane singled, Offerman hit a run-scoring double that bounced over the fence in left-center.
Tom Goodwin made it 3-1 with a two-run, pop-fly single into shallow left. Chili Davis lined a run-scoring single into center for a 4-1 lead.
Rusty Greer went three for four and drove in both Ranger runs after Ivan Rodriguez doubled.
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Next Series for Angels
WHO: Kansas City Royals
WHERE: at Kansas City
WHEN: Tonight: 5 p.m., Tuesday: 5 p.m., Wednesday: 11 a.m.