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Rookie Moreland homers again, Texas beats Royals

Kansas City Royals' Brayan Pena slides safely past Texas Rangers catcher Matt Treanor to score on a double by Alex Gordon during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010 in Kansas City, Mo. Kansas City Royals' Brayan Pena slides safely past Texas Rangers catcher Matt Treanor to score on a double by Alex Gordon during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
September 1, 2010

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KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Rookie Mitch Moreland homered again and the Texas Rangers kept pulling away in the AL West, beating the Kansas City Royals 4-3 Wednesday night.

The Rangers increased their division lead to 9 1/2 games over Oakland, which lost in New York.

Moreland homered for the second straight game, leading off the sixth inning with a shot that made it 4-2. He has five home runs in his first 25 big league games.

Tommy Hunter (12-2) allowed two runs on seven hits and four walks in 5 2-3 innings.

Rookie Neftali Feliz worked a perfect ninth for his 34th save in 37 opportunities.

David Murphy had three of Texas' 10 hits. Elvis Andrus walked, Murphy singled and Nelson Cruz hit a two-out, two-run single in the first off Bryan Bullington (1-4).

The Royals manufactured a run in the third. Brayan Pena led off with a bunt single, Mitch Maier singled, Gregor Blanco sacrificed and Mike Aviles had a sacrifice fly.

Moreland walked in the fourth and scored on Andres Blanco's. Yuniesky Betancourt, who hit seven home runs in August, hit his career-high 15th homer in the Royals fourth.

Aviles and Betancourt doubled in the seventh, pulling the Royals to 4-3.

Bullington gave up four runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. After allowing two hits in eight scoreless innings Aug. 15 against the Yankees for his first big league victory, Bullington has allowed 17 runs on 28 hits in 14 2-3 innings.

Gil Meche, who was reinstated from the disabled list before the game, worked a scoreless ninth for the Royals. He gave up a single in his first relief appearance since Oct. 1, 2005, while with the Seattle Mariners.

NOTES: Rangers OF Josh Hamilton, who tops the majors with a .361 batting average, was held out of the lineup after receiving a shot Tuesday in his sore right knee. ... Royals manager Ned Yost said with C Jason Kendall scheduled for right shoulder surgery Friday, Pena and Lucas May would share the catching duties. The recovery time for Kendall's surgery is eight to 10 months. ... Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler, who has been on the disabled list since July 28 with a left groin strain, was activated, but said he would not be at full strength until next year.

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