Chi Chi Gonzalez twirled a three-hit shutout in his second major league start, with the rookie’s gem leading the Texas Rangers to a 4-0 win over the slumping Kansas City Royals.
After carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning and firing 5 2/3 scoreless frames in his MLB debut Saturday against Boston, Gonzalez was even better in his sequel. The 23-year-old permitted just three singles and two walks in a 116-pitch masterpiece that sent the surging Rangers to a 13th win in 16 games.
“It’s incredible,” said Gonzalez. “From pitch 1 to the last pitch, it was just fun.”
Robinson Chirinos supported Gonzalez with a two-run single and Mitch Moreland went 2-for-3 with a solo homer to help deal the Royals to an eighth loss in their last 10 outings.
Edinson Volquez (4-4) kept Kansas City in it until being reached for three runs in the sixth. He surrendered all four Texas runs while striking out six over 5 1/3 innings.
“Seven days off took my rhythm off,” said Volquez. “I was kind of fighting myself to find the strike zone.”
Gonzalez lost this no-hit bid early, as Mike Moustakas singled with one out in the opening inning but was thrown out attempting to stretch it into a double on a successful challenge by the Rangers. The 2013 first-round pick followed with a walk to Lorenzo Cain, then proceeded to retire the next 12 batters before Alex Rios singled with two down in the fifth.
Texas had staked the young righty to a 1-0 edge in an instant, as Delino DeShields tripled past a diving Cain in center field to begin the contest and came home on Shin-Soo Choo’s groundout.
Volquez didn’t yield another hit until Moreland drove a fastball the other way and over the wall in left to start a big sixth inning for Texas.
Elvis Andrus and Leonys Martin later came through with back-to-back singles and each stole a base in front of Chirinos’ single to right, in which Martin just beat Rios’ throw home to chase Volquez and give the Rangers a 4-0 advantage.
The Royals put two on against Gonzalez in the seventh, but the rookie induced an inning-ending double-play grounder to Alex Gordon. He set down the side in order in both the eighth and ninth to finish off the impressive shutout.