Rangers send Royals to eighth consecutive home loss

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Kevin Millwood sure seems at home on the

Millwood pitched seven strong innings Tuesday night to lead the Texas Rangers to a 6-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals, improving to 5-0 on the road.

"I don't know. I don't feel any different at home than on the road," he said. "It just so happens that I've won a few more games on the road."

Millwood (7-3) gave up two runs and seven hits, throwing 109 pitches in his first outing in a week after taking a couple of days off with a stiff back. He appeared to get stronger as the game went on, retiring eight of his last nine batters with the only runner reaching on an error.

"I don't know if I was getting any stronger," Millwood said. "I feel like my mechanics were getting better. I was able to make some adjustments and get a little more comfortable out there."

Millwood struck out five, walked one and said he felt no ill effects from the back stiffness.

"The back felt fine," he said. "Hopefully, it feels the same tomorrow."

Francisco Cordero worked 1 2-3 innings for his fourth save.

Brad Wilkerson hit a home run and doubled and played a role in two of the three rallies for the Rangers, who improved to 16-10 on the road and sent the Royals to their eighth straight loss at home.

Texas started the scoring in the second on Wilkerson's 12th homer, a shot to center. The Rangers have homered in 44 of their 57 games.

"Brad had a big blow to get us off the schneid," manager Buck Showalter said. "Brad had a couple of good at-bats."

Scott Elarton (1-7) worked five innings for Kansas City, giving up four runs and eight hits.

After Wilkerson's home run, the Royals tied it in the bottom half when Mark Teahen hit an RBI single. Then they had the bases loaded, but Mark Grudzielanek lined out to right to end the inning.

"We had some opportunities with the bases loaded and weren't able to execute," Kansas City manager Buddy Bell said. "We've got to start swinging the bats better."

Texas got three runs in the fourth. Two scored on Kevin Mench's double, which short-hopped the wall in left-center. The hit drove in Hank Blalock, who led off the inning with a single, and Wilkerson, who had a one-out double. After Gerald Laird walked, Ian Kinsler lined a single up the middle, scoring Mench. Laird went from first to third, but was tagged out when he overslid the bag.

The Royals scored for the last time in the fourth, when Teahen hit his third homer.

Denny Bautista relieved Elarton in the sixth but gave up a two-run homer to Kinsler. Bautista was 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA in seven starts before being moved to the bullpen.

Game notes
Texas leads the AL with 135 doubles. The Rangers hit four doubles Tuesday and have 11 in their last two games. ... Every Rangers starter got at least one hit, except Mark Teixeira. ... The Royals haven't announced a starter for Thursday's game.