Billy Butler’s solo homer was the only run the Royals could push across the board in Sunday’s finale in Texas. Scott Baker and three relievers held the Royals to six hits, including 15 outs in row at one point.
The Royals lost 3-1 and with Detroit’s win, their lead in the division is cut to two.
Jason Vargas fell to 10-6, giving up 11 hits and four walks in his six innings. Vargas had walked only one in 25 1/3 innings previously this month.
Baker went five innings in a spot start, and it was his first victory since a start for Minnesota against Detroit on July 23, 2011. The 32-year-old right-hander missed 2012 after Tommy John surgery. He made three starts for the Chicago Cubs at the end of last season and has started only five of his 22 games since joining the Rangers in June.