- Associated Press - Saturday, June 6, 2015

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The offense has stalled for the Kansas City Royals.

Chi Chi Gonzalez threw a three-hit shutout in his second major league start as the Texas Rangers beat the skidding Royals 4-0 Friday night.

The Royals lost for the eighth time in 10 games, while the Rangers have won six of seven and 14 of 18 to move into second place in the AL West behind Houston.

The Royals have scored nine runs in those eight losses.

“We just don’t have much going on offensively right now,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “They are still staying focused, trying to get it going.”

They could get nothing going against Gonzalez: three singles and only one runner reaching second base.

“We went through him four times today and still couldn’t solve him,” Yost said.

The three hits was a Royals low for the season.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Lorenzo Cain, who went 0 for 3. “As a team, I know what we can do. We’re just not getting it done right now.”

Gonzalez (2-0), the Rangers’ 2013 first-round draft pick out of Oral Roberts, has not allowed a run and yielded only five hits in 14 2-3 innings in his first two starts. He checked the Royals on three singles, walked two and struck out two.

“I had the same jitters just because it was my first away start,” said Gonzalez, but he kept the sold out Kauffman Stadium crowd quiet.

Gonzalez worked around five walks in 5 2-3 innings to top Boston 8-0 on May 30 in his big league debut.

“I threw more strikes and got ahead of a lot more hitters than in my last outing, which is what I was hoping to do,” Gonzalez said.

He threw 102 pitches in eight innings and pitching coach Mike Maddux visited him in the dugout.

“I sat down and got a drink of water, Mike came up to me and asked how I was feeling,” Gonzalez said. “I said I felt strong, I felt good. He said ‘all right, go get ‘em.’ That was the end of that conversation.”

Manager Jeff Banister said it “was not an easy decision” to send him out for the ninth.

“This is a young man that’s fresh in the big leagues, second major league start,” Banister said. “I’m very consciousness of where he is. I felt like there was not a lot of stress on any of the innings. I felt he was in still in control, the velocity and pitch-ability was still there. We had a pitch count we weren’t going beyond. We had (Shawn) Tolleson ready if he got into any trouble. He didn’t get into any trouble.”

Mitch Moreland led off the Rangers’ three-run sixth with a homer. Robinson Chirinos celebrated his 31st birthday with a two-run single to finish right-hander Edinson Volquez’s night.

Volquez (4-4) gave up four runs and six hits, while striking out six and walking three in 5 1-3 innings.

Gonzalez, who retired 12 in a row after walking Lorenzo Cain in the first, did not allow a Royal to reach second base until the seventh. Eric Hosmer had a bunt single and Kendrys Morales walked, but Alex Gordon grounded into an inning-ending double play. It was the first time Gordon hit into a double play this season.

While the Rangers stole four bases, the Royals have only 29 steals in 42 attempts this season. Hosmer hinted it is time to start running more.

“I think just showing up and playing isn’t working right now,” he said.

Delino DeShields led off the game with a triple and scored on Shin-Soo Choo’s groundout.

PHENOM TAMED

Joey Gallo, who hit .417 with two homers and five RBIs in his first three Rangers games, struck out four times, three looking.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: RHP Neftali Feliz (abscess near his right armpit) will begin a rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Round Rock. He is scheduled to throw an inning. . OF-IF Ryan Rua (right heel fracture) went 1 for 2 with a two-run homer and was hit by a pitch Thursday in his first rehab game with Round Rock at Reno.

Royals: RHP Kris Medlen (rehabbing from 2014 elbow surgery) will throw off the mound Sunday before returning to Arizona to continue to build up arm strength.

UP NEXT

Rangers: LHP Wandy Rodriguez will make his first June start after a Texas-best 3.22 ERA in May.

Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura gave up a season-high 10 hits, including two homers, in a May 13 loss at Texas

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