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Rangers Finish June on Losing Note

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Texas Rangers play Kansas City Royals on June 29 | Image by Getty

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The Rangers entered their final tilt of June on Wednesday with a chance to even their record to .500 but fell 2-1 in Kansas City to the Royals to post a 12-14 mark in the month, leaving them at a 36-38 as the halfway point of the 2022 season nears.

Dane Dunning got the starting nod for Texas on the bump in the contest and had one of his better outings in 2022, tossing six innings in which he allowed two earned runs on six hits while both walking and striking out three.

Unfortunately for Dunning and the rest of the Rangers cast, 2009 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke, making his 500th career start, was even better than the Texas hurler on the day. Greinke’s effort included six innings of one-run baseball in which he allowed four hits, walked one, and struck out three.

The lone run Greinke allowed — he sees his record go to 2-4 on the season while Dunning drops to 1-6 — was a Leody Taveras dinger he banged into right-centerfield for his first home run of the season and the eighth of his young career.

Royals reliever Scott Barlow, who would earn the game saves, said he admires the 18-year vet’s approach to pitching and how he composes himself after a miscue on the mound.

“Every time I see him go out there, I feel like he executes his plan so well, and he’s so calm, cool, and collected every time,” he told MLB.com of Greinke. “That’s something I picked up on a lot, just how even keel he is at all times. He’s never up or down. To do that over the amount of times he’s done it, that’s allowed him to be as good as he is for as long as he has.”

Taveras’ round-tripper was the only run support the Rangers provided Dunning on the day. He gave up a lead-off homer to Kyle Isbel in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the Royals a 2-1 lead, which they held on to. Taveras was the lone Ranger to get more than one hit in the game, going 2-for-3, pushing his batting average to .289 on the year.

Matt Moore spelled Dunning in the game, tossing two scoreless frames where he allowed a hit and earned a strikeout.

Texas opens July with a three-game set in New York against the NL’s Mets before a three-game series with Baltimore wraps up a nine-game road trip in which the team is currently 2-1.

Probable starting pitchers for the contest in the Big Apple, slated for a 6:10 p.m. CDT start on Friday, are Glen Otto (4-3, 5.31) for Texas and Chris Bassitt (6-5, 4.01) for the Mets.

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