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On Deck: Royals

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    NEWSLETTERS

    On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every Rangers series during the 2014 season. 

    The Opponent: The Royals host the Rangers after taking two of three from Texas at Globe Life Park just a couple of weeks ago, and they're coming in cold after being swept by the Indians.

    Past 2014 Meetings: So far on the season, the Royals are 2-1 against Texas, taking both of their wins in Arlington by a 6-3 score before dropping the series finale.

    Pitching Matchups: Monday — Colby Lewis (9-11, 5.44 ERA) vs. Yordano Ventura (10-9, 3.40); Tuesday — Derek Holland (2014 debut) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (10-10, 4.43); Wednesday — Nick Tepesch (4-8, 4.44) vs. Jason Vargas (10-7, 3.27).

    What's Hot: Both of the Rangers' leadoff hitters now that Shin-Soo Choo is out for the season are the team's top two hitters over the past week. Daniel Robertson, who bats leadoff against left-handed pitching, is 6-for-14 with two doubles and an RBI. Colby Lewis tossed a complete game in his last outing, allowing four runs in a Rangers' blowout victory.

    Shortstop Alcides Escobar is hitting .310 with a double, a triple and an RBI in his past seven games. All-star catcher Salvador Perez is hitting .300 over that same time, and he's second on the team in RBIs in that span with four. The leader? That'd be outfielder Alex Gordon, who's hitting just .259 in his past seven games but he's made his hits count to the tune of three homers and six RBIs.

    What's Not: Other than Martin and Robertson, not much else is cooking in the Rangers' lineup. Michael Choice, now getting a shot at full-time playing time after Choo's shutdown, is batting just .150 over his past six games. One of his hits was a mammoth home run. Even Adrian Beltre is in a slump, by his standards, batting just .261 over his last six games.

    Vargas and Guthrie both struggled in their last outing, each going six innings but giving up four and five runs, respectively. Two of the Royals' bigger bats, third baseman Mike Moustakas and DH Billy Butler, are both struggling. Moustakas is hitting just .130 in his last seven games, and Butler is batting .208 in the same time.

    Familiar Faces: Former Rangers reliever Jason Frasor was shipped off to Kansas City prior to the July 31 trade deadline after going 1-1 with a 3.34 ERA in 29 2/3 innings for the Rangers. He's made 16 appearances with Kansas City, going 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA, allowing just two runs in his 10 2/3 innings of work.