KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Matt Garza decided to stop thinking and start doing.
The former Ray pitched eight impressive innings for his first victory in six starts and the Rangers kept close in the American League playoff race, beating the Royals 3-1 Saturday night. Texas won for only the fifth time in 19 September games.
Garza was 0-3 with an 8.22 ERA in his first three September starts. He pitched four-hit ball before giving up Eric Hosmer's leadoff home run in the ninth.
"You're the only one who can do it," Garza said. "You're the one who has to wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror. I wasn't happy with what I saw. I just got back to being comfortable, back to being who was I was."
The plan Garza and catcher A.J. Pierzynski had was to keep it unsophisticated.
"He talked about an overload of information," Pierzynski said. "Matt is a simple guy. He wants to know the basics. … I think he tried to keep it simple and be as aggressive as he can."