ARLINGTON -- Thunder and streaks of lightning pierced the Texas sky, amplifying the entertainment value and prompting a few oohs and aahs from the 45,506 fans while the Rangers closed out another victory.
The Royals couldn't find any thunder or lightning in their bats in the ninth inning, or almost any other time, as they lost, 3-1, on a rainy Saturday night -- their seventh straight loss deep in the heart of Texas.
"These guys are pretty good in this ballpark. I don't know what their record is at home (9-2 this year) but they're pretty good," said Royals pitcher Kyle Davies. "The bottom line is [Rangers starter Alexi Ogando] came out and pitched better than I did today. It's a pretty tough place to pitch but he pitched pretty good, he gave us just one run and I gave them three."
Davies had an odd half-and-half outing. In the first three innings, he expended 79 pitches and gave up all three runs and all four hits. In his last three innings, he retired all nine batters on 33 pitches.
As it turned out, the game turned on the two runs the Rangers scored in the third, on a walk to Elvis Andrus, Michael Young's single, Adrian Beltre's sacrifice fly, then Young's stolen base and Nelson Cruz's RBI single.
"I hung a slider to Beltre that he put the ball in the air for a sac fly, and I wasn't paying too much attention to Young and he stole second on me. That's kind of what killed me there," Davies said.
The first Rangers run came in the second inning after second baseman Chris Getz fielded David Murphy's bouncer but failed to throw.
"He caught the ball and reached in for it, didn't get a grip and went to reach again, and by then it was too late," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
After the error, Murphy scored on Mitch Moreland's double.
The jet-stream effect which helped the Rangers bludgeon the Royals on Friday night wasn't in evidence this night, but the wind scared up some rain along with Mother Nature's pyrotechnics.
After six homers in the series opener, there was just one on Saturday night -- Kila Ka'aihue's smash into the right-field upper deck off Ogando to lead off the Royals' seventh. That was the last pitch Ogando, a reliever with last year's American League championship team, would throw.
Manager Ron Washington brought in another right-hander, Cody Eppley, to make his Major League debut. Eppley was just called up from Triple-A Round Rock to take the roster spot of closer Neftali Feliz, on the disabled list with a shoulder ailment.
Rookie Eppley worked two scoreless innings, and veteran Darren Oliver stepped in to get the save, becoming at age 40 and 199 days the oldest Rangers pitcher ever to record save. (Hall of Famer Goose Gossage got a save at age 40, 18 days.)
"Their pitching did a great job of shutting us down," Yost said. "Ogando was really good. We saw him one time last year real quick, a real quick outing. What made him effective was he's got a real short, quick arm action which gives him great deception, and we had a tough time picking up the ball."
In each of the first three innings against Ogando, the Royals had two runners on base with one or no outs. Each time, Ogando slammed the door.
"I didn't have control of my pitches in the early innings. But I kept pounding the strike zone," Ogando said.
On two of those occasions, Billy Butler was Ogando's victim, as he popped out and struck out.
"I definitely didn't have a good day," Butler said. "We let some opportunities slip. That's why I'm in the middle of the lineup, I've got to get some of the opportunities in, especially with less than two out. I'm just not squaring it up right now."
Melky Cabrera did most of the Royals' hitting, with two singles and a double off Ogando. Alex Gordon extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a single and Jeff Francoeur extended his streak with 13 games with a double. (Wilson Betemit's streak ended at 13 games.)
Gordon was nicked on the right knee by an Ogando pitch but escaped serious injury. He displayed a red welt after the game but said he was fine.
"Gordo's a tough cookie," Yost said.
The seven straight losses at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington include two in this series, all four games here last year and their last appearance in 2009. Davies is 0-4 in six starts at this park and is 0-5 against the Rangers in eight starts overall.
The Royals came into Texas as the only Major League club that had not lost a series to an opponent this season. This defeat ensured that now a series loss is marked against them.
"Well, hopefully, that'll be the last," Davies said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.