The 25-year-old left-hander left a pretty good first impression
on his new team.
De La Rosa struck out seven and allowed only two runs over six
innings in his Kansas City debut Saturday night, and the Royals
beat the Rangers 5-3.
"I was impressed," manager Buddy Bell said. "I really was."
The Royals got De La Rosa (1-0) on Tuesday when they traded
infielder Tony Graffanino to Milwaukee, where he was 0-2 with an
11.57 ERA in three starts. De La Rosa was 0-5 in eight previous
major league starts.
But those were the only runs allowed by De La Rosa despite
giving up nine hits. The seven strikeouts were a career high.
"He had the demeanor to fight and be able to handle things,"
"He made the pitches when he needed them, was effective with
his fastball and had great command of his changeup," said catcher
John Buck, who had three hits and three RBI for the Royals. "He
did a good job keeping his cool, and staying with it."
Ambiorix Burgos worked the ninth for his 16th save in 25
All-Star outfielder Carlos Lee went 3-for-4 with a walk in his
second game since being traded from Milwaukee to the Rangers
(51-53), who dropped three games behind division-leading Oakland in
the AL West.
Kansas City, with the worst record in the majors, won the first
two games of the series by beating the Rangers' top two starters
and 10-game winners: Vicente Padilla on Friday and then Kevin Millwood (10-7).
Millwood walked five and gave up seven hits while allowing four
runs over 5 1/3 innings. He also hit a batter with a pitch while
losing for the fourth time in six starts.
"I just couldn't get the ball where I wanted it to go,"
Millwood said. "Right now, I think we are all kind of in a rut at
the same time. No facet of this team is going well right now, and
it is never a good thing when the whole team is struggling."
Hoping to make a push for their first playoff appearance since
1999, the Rangers got Lee in a six-player deal Friday. The slugger
is 5-for-8 in his two games in Texas, with a double on Saturday,
but Texas hasn't won with him in the lineup.
The Rangers had 13 hits Saturday, but left 13 runners on base --
one short of their season high.
"It is always frustrating when you create chances to score and
then come up empty," All-Star shortstop Michael Young said.
Buck provided two timely hits for the Royals.
Just one pitch after Millwood hit Shane Costa on the elbow to
load the bases with two outs in the fourth, Buck's grounder up the
middle was a two-run single that tied it at two.
Costa and Buck hit consecutive doubles in the sixth to break the
tie. Millwood was pulled with the bases loaded after another walk
Reliever C.J. Wilson coaxed David DeJesus into a potential
inning-ending double-play grounder, but the Royals' speedy leadoff
hitter beat second baseman Ian Kinsler's wide relay throw to first
and Buck scored to make it 4-2.
Lee had a one-out infield single in the seventh, when he hustled
down the line and was able to avoid a tag. Mark Teixeira followed
with his third single of the game before Kinsler hit a long fly
ball into the left-center gap. Center fielder Gathright made a
leaping catch near the top of the wall, and Lee trotted home on the
sacrifice fly while Teixeira scampered back to first.
Todd Wellemeyer, who replaced De La Rosa at the start of the
inning, walked Laird and DeRosa to load the bases before Affeldt
relieved him and needed only one pitch to get Brad Wilkerson on an
LHP John Koronka (6-6) will start Sunday night for the
Rangers instead of RHP Adam Eaton, who made his season debut
Tuesday after recovering from finger surgery. Eaton had a bout of
food poisoning Saturday. ... Teixeira has reached base in 22
straight games. His career best is 24. ... The Royals claimed their
first one-city road trip since winning two of three games in
Detroit in October 2001. This was their ninth one-city trip since.