Jeremy Hellickson came on the mound Monday night just trying to contain a team that hasnt done much all year and ended up doing just that. Hellickson delivered his second consecutive strong start, tossing 7 solid innings leading the Rays to a victory in game one of this 3-game series.

The Rays started the scoring with an RBI single by Elliot Johnson in the second inning to put the Rays up 1-0.

The Royals came right back and scored in the top of the third with an RBI single by Alex Gordon to tie the game.

The Rays responded in the bottom half of the inning with Desmond Jennings hitting a leadoff triple. He would score on a wild pitch to make it 2-1.

Jose Lobaton added another run with an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth to make it 3-1.

Desmond Jennings hit an RBI double to score one more in the fourth to make it 4-1. Elliot Johnson nearly scored on the play to make it 5-1, but was thrown out at the plate on a very close call. After replay it looks like Johnson was indeed out. He beat the throw but but his hand right into the catcher's leg which was blocking the plate, so he ended up not touching the plate in time. Joe Maddon came out to argue the call, and avoided an ejection.

The Rays capped off the scoring in the fifth via a Jeff Keppinger solo homer, extending their lead to four runs.

The Rays are now 68-54 on the season, and gain ground some ground with their fifth consecutive win. They're now just four games behind the Yankees in the division, and remain alone in the No.1 Wild Card spot (two games up on Baltimore, who are in the second spot).

Notable Stat Lines

  • Jeremy Hellickson (W,8-8): 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K
  • Will Smith (L,4-5): 3.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Desmond Jennings (2-4) R, RBI
  • Jeff Keppinger (1-4) HR, RBI
  • Sam Fuld (2-4)
  • Jose Lobaton (2-3) R, BB, RBI
  • click here for a full box score

Rays News and Notes

  • The Rays will try to extend their winning streak to six tonight against the Royals.. It will be David Price (16-4, 2.39 ERA) vs. Luke Hochovar (7-11, 5.24 ERA); first pitch at 7:10.
  • Luke Scott will return to the Rays lineup for tonights game. Sean Rodriguez is the most likely candidate to be demoted in order to make room for him.
  • Evan Longoria sat out Monday's game (scheduled off day).