Series: Game 3 of 3

Texas won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, September 1
Kansas City3Final
Game 2: Tuesday, September 2
Kansas City7Final
Game 3: Wednesday, September 3
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Royals 3

(71-67, 34-34 away)

Rangers 1

(64-76, 38-33 home)

    8:05 PM ET, September 3, 2003

    Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    KC 000300000 3 4 0
    TEX 100000000 1 7 0

    W: J. Gobble (3-3)

    L: J. Thomson (12-12)

    S: M. MacDougal (27)

    Kansas City 3, Texas 1

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Jimmy Gobble got off to a shaky start, but the Kansas City Royals liked the way the rookie left-hander finished.

    Gobble gave up a leadoff homer to Michael Young, but shut out Texas over the rest of his seven innings as the Royals snapped a four-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night.

    "I had to get it out of my mind quick," Gobble said of Young's 12th homer. "They had some tough hitters coming up. I had to work through it. I knew I had to be aggressive and just keep my team in the game."

    Gobble (3-3) allowed one run and four hits, struck out a career-high six and walked two after being called up from Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday to join the expanded roster. He had five starts for the Royals in August, winning his first two.

    He struggled in his last two starts, however, allowing a total of 13 runs and 17 hits over 10 1-3 innings in losses to the New York Yankees and Anaheim Angels.

    "We talked before the game that he needed to keep the ball down and attack hitters," Royals manager Tony Pena said. "He gave me exactly what I asked for."

    Gobble was facing the Rangers for the first time, and he was especially effective against veteran sluggers Alex Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro, who were a combined 0-for-7.

    "When you face anyone for the first time, it's a bit of a mystery," Rodriguez said. "But we can't make excuses. Give him credit. He stayed ahead and threw all three pitches for strikes."

    Curtis Leskanic gave up one hit in a scoreless eighth, and Mike MacDougal got the final three outs for his 27th save in 35 chances as Kansas City salvaged the finale of the three-game series. The Royals had won the first six against the Rangers before this series.

    Mike Sweeney, Joe Randa and Carlos Beltran each had RBI in a three-run fourth to help the Royals move within one game of both Chicago and Minnesota for the AL Central lead.

    "This was a very important game for our ballclub," Pena said. "We'd lost four, and they were tough losses. But you have to be happy where we are. We're only one out. It's going to be close all the way to the end. We took some punches, but we're not knocked down yet."

    Rangers starter John Thomson (12-12), seeking his sixth victory in seven decisions, gave up three runs and four hits in seven innings. He struck out eight and walked one.

    "John pitched well enough to win tonight," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "He deserved a better fate. But I was impressed with Gobble. I can see why Kansas City thinks so much of him."

    Young got the Rangers off to a good start and Thomson was perfect over the first three innings before Aaron Guiel's double leading off the fourth. Randa's single tied it at 1 and extended Randa's hitting streak to 16 games.

    Sweeney's triple drove in Randa to give the Royals a 2-1 lead. Sweeney scored on Beltran's groundout.

    Game notes

    Young has hit a leadoff homer three times this season for Texas. ... Sweeney had his first triple of the season and fourth of his career. ... The Royals had a closed-door pregame team meeting to discuss the four-game skid that matched their longest of the season. ... Gobble's seven innings pitched was a career high.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press