Not how one might expect.
In four career starts against a potent Rangers lineup, Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar owns a 2-0 record and 3.08 ERA, his best stats against any AL opponent.
The Rangers' heavy hitters have come up empty against the No. 1 overall selection in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. Shortstop Elvis Andrus (1-for-9), second baseman Ian Kinsler (0-for-11), along with outfielders Nelson Cruz (1-for-6) and Josh Hamilton (1-for-8) have all scuffled against Hochevar.
In his most recent outing against the Rangers -- May 19 of last season -- Hochevar limited Texas to one run in 8 2/3 innings. The Royals hope he can spin a similar performance against the AL West leaders on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium, where Hochevar will look to notch his second win in as many starts.
On Tuesday, the 28-year-old topped the Indians thanks to a wealth of offensive backing in an 8-3 win.
"Anytime you throw up eight runs is always nice," Hochevar said. "We still kept playing hard, though, which is good to see. We kept playing good defense and kept going out there and battling at the plate. That was a fun win."
The Rangers will counter on Sunday with southpaw Derek Holland, who the club hopes can step up in the wake of season-ending injuries to starters Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz. Holland is 2-2 with a 4.67 ERA in his last five starts, and surrendered six runs in 6 2/3 innings while suffering a loss on Tuesday against the Angels.
"I need to keep doing what I have been doing and not change anything," Holland said. "I'm throwing a lot of strikes and my offspeed stuff has been really crisp. So I want to make sure I throw strikes and give my team a chance to win."
Holland, 25, has allowed seven home runs in his last three outings. Don't color him concerned, however.
"The way I look at it, when I'm giving up home runs, at least I'm throwing strikes," Holland said. "I'd rather do that than give up free bases."
Rangers: Nathan getting a breather
Closer Joe Nathan welcomed some time off on Friday and Saturday. The veteran threw a total of 62 pitches while working one inning each on Wednesday and Thursday.
"I'm not bad, it's just one of those times of the year when a few days off is nice," Nathan said. "It gives me a breather and takes the edge off my arm. We're in August and I've thrown a ton of pitches."
Skipper Ron Washington has yet to decide how he'll ration off playing time at catcher between Mike Napoli and recently acquired Geovany Soto. Napoli started Saturday after getting two days off.
Royals: Kansas City makes coaching change
The club dismissed Doug Sisson and replaced him with Rusty Kuntz, who will take over Sisson's duties as first base, baserunning and outfield coach.
Kuntz was serving as special assistant to general manager Dayton Moore as an outfield, bunting and baserunning coach in the Minors.
"Doug was a guy who worked his tail off, but as an organization, we thought it was time to make a change," manager Ned Yost said. "Rusty was available, and working as a Minor League outfield and baserunning coordinator with all our young kids, and we're lucky to have Rusty -- he's one of the best in the business."
Hamilton is batting .307 with a .591 slugging percentage in day games. He hit just .220 with a .317 slugging percentage in day games last season.
Class A Royals first baseman Matt Fields was named the Topps Player of the Month in the Carolina League after hitting .355 with 13 home runs in July for the Wilmington Blue Rocks.