The Kansas City Royals failed to continue their momentum from James Shields‘ strong start Monday, and fell to the Rays 4-3 Tuesday night at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay.
The Royals only scored 1 run most of the way, until a 9th inning 2-run rally fell just short. Reliever Francisley Bueno gave up two key insurance runs in the bottom of the 8th. Rays closer Jake McGee needed all of the 3-run cushion to earn his 6th save after allowing Salvador Perez to drive in 2 runs on a single.
The loss drops Kansas City to 46-43, and 4.5 games behind first place Detroit in the American League Central.
On the Mound
Jason Vargas was actually pretty good Tuesday night even though he left after only 5.2 innings trailing 2-1. Vargas surrendered 6 hits, 2 walks, and 2 earned runs (both in the bottom of the 6th after giving up 3 consecutive hits).
Aaron Crow entered in the 6th to retire the final batter of the inning with runners on 1st and 2nd. He pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless relief, allowing no hits or walks.
Francisley Bueno failed to keep the lead to 1 run after allowing 2 runs in the 8th in what turned out to be a critical blow that probably lost the game (despite Vargas getting tagged for the loss).
At the Plate
Overall, the Royals offense only managed to score 3 runs on 13 hits and 2 walks. They constantly failed with runners on base inning after inning. They trailed 2-1 after Tampa’s 2 run rally in the 6th, until their breakthrough for 2 runs in the 9th.
It wasn’t enough.
Lorenzo Cain was terrific, going 4-4 with 3 singles, a triple,, 1 walk, and 2 runs scored.
Salvador Perez drove in all 3 Kansas City runs with his timely single in the 9th and his groundout to shortstop to score Lorenzo Cain in the 5th. Perez went 1-5 on the day with 1 single, and 3 RBIs.
This and That
Hellickson made his 2014 season debut after elbow surgery in January. Rays manager Joe Maddon was rightfully cautious with Hellickson, allowing him only 84 pitches before pulling him.
Alex Gordon made a rare lazy play in the 6th inning, failing to hustle while fielding Brandon Guyer‘s hit to left which allowed Guyer to stretch his single into a double. The miscue proved significant when Guyer scored on Evan Longoria‘s 2-run single to right. Not only did the sloppy play cost the Royals the lead, being down 2-1 meant Ned Yost would not bring setup man Wade Davis into the game.
That lapse allowed the Rays to get two runs off Bueno, which proved costly after Kansas City’s 9th inning rally fell just short. Even one of the best defensive players in baseball makes a bad play on occasion.
KC Kingdom Player of the Game
Lorenzo Cain had a terrific game after getting on base 5 times, including a tirple in the 7th inning and 1 walk. Four hits and 1 walk in 5 plate appearances is a dream day for a leadoff hitter, especially when you consider that he also added his 11th stolen base of the season.
- Billy Butler – 2
- Danny Valencia
- Christian Colon
- Raul Ibanez
- Jarrod Dyson – 2
- Lorenzo Cain – 6
- Johnny Giavotella
- Wade Davis
- Norichika Aoki
- Salvador Perez – 5
- Jeremy Guthrie – 5
- Jason Vargas – 6
- Alex Gordon – 9
- Bruce Chen
- James Shields – 7
- Yordano Ventura – 4
- Mike Moustakas
- Danny Duffy – 6
- Omar Infante – 3
- Mike Moustakas – 5
- Alcides Escobar – 5
- Eric Hosmer – 9
- Michael Mariot
LF Brandon Guyer went 3-4 on the day, with two singles, his hustle double, and scored 2 runs. Noticing Alex Gordon‘s rare lazy pickup in left was the key play that turned around the game for the Rays.
The Royals finish their 3 game series in Tampa before heading to Detroit for a 4-game showdown just before the All-Star break. Kansas City will send Yordano Ventura (6-7, 3.07 ERA) to the mound against Alex Cobb (4-6, 4.28 ERA) for Tampa Bay. This is when the Royals need to start a 5-game winning streak to put them right into contention. Game time is 6:10 CST at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay.
|Lorenzo Cain CF-RF||4||2||4||0||1||0||5||.322||.359||.450||.809||21|
|Eric Hosmer 1B||4||1||2||0||1||1||5||.259||.304||.357||.661||21|
|Salvador Perez C||5||0||1||3||0||1||5||.282||.328||.435||.763||24|
|Christian Colon PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333||.333||.778||1.111|
|Alex Gordon LF||5||0||1||0||0||1||5||.268||.348||.425||.772||20|
|Omar Infante 2B||5||0||2||0||0||1||5||.265||.307||.377||.684||13|
|Mike Moustakas 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||4||.193||.258||.377||.635||20|
|Billy Butler DH||4||0||2||0||0||0||4||.269||.323||.344||.667||12|
|Raul Ibanez RF||3||0||0||0||0||0||3||.154||.245||.266||.511||13|
|Danny Valencia PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.293||.333||.413||.746||2|
|Jarrod Dyson CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.298||.354||.351||.705|
|Alcides Escobar SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||4||.287||.325||.395||.720||19|
2B: E Hosmer (24, off J McGee).
3B: L Cain (3, off G Balfour).
TB: L Cain 6; E Hosmer 3; B Butler 2; O Infante 2; A Gordon; S Perez; M Moustakas.
GIDP: M Moustakas (4).
RBI: S Perez 3 (32).
Team LOB: 11.
With RISP: 2 for 12.
SB: L Cain (11, 2nd base off J Hellickson/R Hanigan).
|Desmond Jennings CF||3||0||0||0||1||1||4||.246||.335||.393||.728|
|Ben Zobrist SS||4||1||1||0||0||0||4||.268||.349||.408||.757|
|Brandon Guyer LF||4||2||3||0||0||0||4||.264||.313||.364||.677|
|Evan Longoria 3B||4||1||1||2||0||0||4||.263||.339||.397||.736|
|James Loney 1B||4||0||2||1||0||0||4||.280||.332||.382||.713|
|Logan Forsythe 2B||3||0||0||1||0||1||4||.239||.289||.339||.628|
|Sean Rodriguez DH||3||0||1||0||1||1||4||.243||.291||.507||.798|
|Ryan Hanigan C||3||0||0||0||1||1||4||.212||.309||.327||.636|
|Kevin Kiermaier RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||.278||.314||.542||.855|
2B: S Rodriguez (8, off J Vargas); B Guyer (9, off J Vargas); J Loney (20, off F Bueno).
SF: L Forsythe (3, off F Bueno).
TB: B Guyer 4; J Loney 3; S Rodriguez 2; E Longoria; B Zobrist.
RBI: E Longoria 2 (42); L Forsythe (14); J Loney (44).
Team LOB: 8.
With RISP: 2 for 6.
DP: 1. E Longoria-L Forsythe-J Loney.
|Jason Vargas, L (8-4)||5.2||6||2||2||2||3||0||3.31||109||62|
|Brad Boxberger, W (2-1)||1.2||1||0||0||0||1||0||2.57||20||14|
|Grant Balfour, H (5)||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||4.93||21||13|
|Joel Peralta, H (12)||0.2||2||0||0||0||0||0||3.82||14||9|
|Jake McGee, S (6)||1.1||3||2||2||0||2||0||1.58||26||18|
WP: J Hellickson (1).