Adrian Sampson struck out a career-high 11 in seven innings and earned his first major league win as a starter, leading the Texas Rangers over the Kansas City Royals 5-1 Sunday.
Texas won three of four in the series. The Royals ended a 1-6 trip that left them with a major league-worst 8-23 road record.
Sampson (4-3) posted his previous three victories in relief of an opener. He gave up one run and eight hits, and walked none.
Texas reliever Jesse Chavez pitched a scoreless ninth to run his shutout streak to 18 1/3 innings.
Brad Keller (3-7) allowed three runs in seven innings. The American League leader in walks with 42 didn’t walk anyone but had two wild pitches, one that scored a run.
Texas took a 1-0 lead in the third on three opposite-field singles and added two runs in the fifth, the second on an opposite-field single by Nomar Mazara.
Sampson escaped a jam in the fifth in which the Royals used bunt singles by Terrance Gore and Billy Hamilton to load the bases with none out. He retired Whit Merrifield on a liner, Adalberto Mondesi on a swinging third strike and Alex Gordon on a called third strike.
Jorge Soler hit his career-high 15th home run in the sixth inning for Kansas City’s run.
The Royals loaded the bases in the eighth inning with two outs, but Shelby Miller got Cam Gallagher to fly out to center field.