Cole Hamels was in top form over seven innings and the bottom of the Rangers' lineup came up big early as Texas won its season-high fourth consecutive game Tuesday night, 4-1 over the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Hamels escaped a first-inning jam after two walks with a 6-4-3 double play and then breezed through much of the the next five innings. He retired nine of 10 batters from the second through the fourth. An unearned run scored in the fifth but he limited the damage again with a 6-4-3 double play.
Hamels held KC to four hits and struck out seven. Jake Diekman pitched a perfect eighth and Keone Kela closed it with a perfect ninth to earn his 17th save in 17 chances.
The Rangers scored twice in the second and twice in the third. Isiah Kiner-Falefa was 3 for 3 with two doubles and an RBI. Delino DeShields' bases-loaded, two-run double in the second spotted Hamels a 2-0 lead.
The Royals have lost eight consecutive games and dropped to 22-51.
Shin-Soo Choo extended his on-base streak to 33 games with a single in the sixth inning. It's the longest current streak in the majors and second-longest this season to the Phillies' Odubel Herrera (40 games).
The last longer such streak for a Rangers' player was Mark Teixeira's 36-game stretch from July 3 to Aug. 12, 2006.