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BOS@KC: Chen gives up three runs over 6 2/3 innings

The Kansas City Royals have picked up a little momentum in the form of two straight victories that they hope helps as they head to Texas for a two-game series with the Josh Hamilton-led Rangers.

"It is [a tough series]," Manager Ned Yost said of going against the two-time defending American League champions.

The Royals trounced the White Sox, 9-1, on Sunday after shutting them out, 5-0, on Saturday.

Rangers Ballpark has been no picnic for the Royals in the past, according to right fielder Jeff Francoeur.

"We haven't played very well there in the past," Francoeur said. "We have not played well in Texas, and we need to try to go find a way to at least win one, if not find a way to set ourselves up with a win [Monday] to take Tuesday, too."

The Royals' pitching staff will be challenged against Hamilton, who hit nine home runs last week, and the rest of the potent Rangers lineup.

"We did a pretty good job of getting our lefties in and getting them out [against the White Sox on Sunday]," Yost said. "So we've got both of our [bullpen] lefties [Jose Mijares and Tim Collins] ready to handle their lefties.

"Our other guys, [Kelvin] Herrera, [Aaron] Crow, [Jonathan] Broxton can go [Monday], so the bullpen's in good shape. We're swinging the bats better and it'll be a good series."

The Rangers will send Scott Feldman to the hill against the Royals in the opener. They want to use a spot starter for Monday rather than bring Derek Holland or Colby Lewis back on three days' rest after pitching in Thursday's doubleheader in Baltimore.

Feldman has been used primarily in middle and long relief so far this year, racking up a 4.35 ERA in six appearances. He has made one start, and it came on April 25 at home against the Yankees when a rainout necessitated a spot start in a doubleheader. Feldman, a 17-game winner in 2009 and the Rangers' Opening Day starter in 2010, lasted 3 1/3 innings and gave up two runs in a game the Rangers would eventually win.

"We didn't look at it as a bullpen game," designated hitter Michael Young said that day. "Scott Feldman is a legitimate big league starter and a huge part of our team."

Royals: Chen starts things in Texas
• Bruce Chen will be the Royals' starter on Monday, taking a 1-4 record and 4.83 ERA to the mound. Chen picked his first win in his last start, which came last Wednesday against Boston. Chen did not issue a walk in that outing, marking his third start of 2012 without a free pass. His ratio of 1.54 walks per nine innings ranks in the top 10 in the American League. The lefty is 30-36 with a 4.71 ERA in 168 career road outings (92 starts).

• Designated hitter Billy Butler went 0-for-3 with a walk, a run and an RBI on Sunday. He has nine go-ahead RBIs, and four of his six home runs have given the Royals the lead.

• The two-game series will be the Royals' only games in Arlington this season. The two teams play seven times in Kansas City.

Rangers: Hamilton and history
• Hamilton, who tied the club record with nine home runs in April, now has nine homers in May. He is one shy of matching the team record for May homers, and he has 16 games left in the month. Rangers with 10 homers in May include Juan Gonzalez in 1998 and '99, Alex Rodriguez in 2001 and Vladimir Guerrero in '10. Frank Howard holds the franchise record with 15 homers in May 1968 for the Washington Senators. Additionally, Hamilton's current 12-game hitting streak is the longest by a Ranger this season.

• The Rangers lead the Majors with 207 runs scored. The club has scored at least two runs in 30 straight games, the longest such streak since the Rangers scored two or more in 29 in a row from May 29-June 30, 2010. The last longer streak was 36 straight from May 5-June 12, 2008. Texas and Tampa Bay are the only teams held to one or zero runs just once this season, and the Rangers are one of nine Major League teams yet to be shut out.

• Craig Gentry had a hit and RBI on Saturday and is batting .364 (16-for-44) with nine RBIs in his last 19 games beginning April 17.

Worth noting
• The Royals likely will get third baseman Mike Moustakas back on Monday after he was held out Saturday and Sunday against the White Sox with a sore left hamstring. "I expect it to be warmer in Texas, so Moose will be ready to go," Yost said.

• Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus went 4-for-5 on Sunday and extended his on-base streak to a career-high 31 games, the longest such streak in the Majors in 2012 and the longest streak by a Ranger since Hamilton had a 32-game run in June-July 2010. Comments