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Bruce Chen rocked; Royals swept by Rangers

April 25, 2011

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— Bruce Chen had an impressive streak going before getting to Texas. So did the Kansas City Royals.

Chen gave up three home runs in 41⁄3 innings on the way to the end of his personal seven-game winning stretch in Kansas City’s 8-7 loss Sunday as the AL West-leading Texas Rangers wrapped up a three-game sweep.

Kansas City arrived in the Lone Star State as the only team in the major leagues that hadn’t lost a series this season, but has now lost eight consecutive games at Rangers Ballpark back to the 2009 season.

“They outplayed us in all aspects of the game,” said Mike Aviles, who homered twice for the Royals.

After a day off today, the Royals open a three-game series at AL Central-leading Cleveland. The Indians, who lead Kansas City by 11⁄2 games, were also swept this weekend in three games at Minnesota.

The Royals (12-10) have lost eight straight on the road against the Rangers, dating to 2009.

“What happened here stays here,” Chen said.

Chen (3-1) lost for the first time in 12 starts, since his last loss Aug. 23 at Detroit. The only pitcher in that span with more consecutive wins was Carlos Zambrano of the Chicago Cubs, but his eight-game winning streak ended Sunday in a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Chen gave up six runs and seven hits while walking three with two strikeouts.

“He wasn’t sharp today, but he really battled,” manager Ned Yost said. “He was out there competing with everything he had, just couldn’t get the ball down.”

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