Luke Hochevar was very good Monday night for Kansas City as the Rays were shut out 8-0. Hochevar—who has really been the only bright spot of the Royals’ rotation all year—held the Rays to seven hits while striking out eight batters.

The Royals’ bats came out as well, backing up Hochevar with eight runs off of Alex Cobb in the series opener.

 The scoring started in the first inning with an RBI double by Mike Moustakas.

Then the Royals broke out with a huge inning in the third. They scored five runs, all on RBI singles from Yuniesky Betancourt, Jeff Francoeur, Eric Hosmer, and Salvador Perez.

Up 6-0, KC expanded their lead to seven with a sac fly by Betancourt in the fourth.

Hosmer would finish off the rout in eighth, blasting a solo homer to give the Royals their eighth and final run of the game.

Despite giving up career highs in hits (13) and runs (8), Alex Cobb would go the distance for Tampa Bay pitchin eight innings through all of this. Ironically, this was his first complete game ever thrown in the majors or minors. It wasn't a surprise that Maddon extended Cobbs' outing as much as possible, however, as the Rays' bullpen was in desperate need of a break after Sunday's doubleheader.

The Rays fall to 40-33 on the season, and  3-4 on this road trip. The Blue Jays beat the Red Sox Monday night and the Yankees beat the Indians 7-1. They both gain ground on the Rays and the O’s who had an off day. Tampa is now 4.5 games behind New York, remain 1.5 games behind Baltimore, and are two games ahead of Boston.

Notable Stat Lines:

  • Luke Hochevar: (W,5-7) 9 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K
  • Alex Cobb: (L,3-4) 8 IP, 13 H, 8 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
  • Ben Zobrist: 1-3
  • Alex Gordon: 3-4, 2 R
  • Eric Hosmer: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
  • click here for a full box score

Rays News and Notes:

  • Luke Scott (back) went 2-3 with two home runs in his first rehab game of his minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham. He has one more game of the stint Tuesday, and will then return to the rays to be re-evaluated. He could return to the lineup on Thursday.
  • Jeremy Hellickson (shoulder fatigue) threw a 60-pitch bullpen session Monday (80-90 perfect effort), and is aiming a return to the rotation this weekend (June 30).
  • Matt Joyce (oblique) is feeling much better and may start swinging again at the end of the week. He's not eligible to return until July 5.
  • Kyle Farnsworth (elbow) could rejoin the Rays as soon as this weekend.
  • The Tampa Bay Times has some interesting notes on Sunday's doubleheader.
  • Tomorrow night the Rays and Royals are at it again; first pitch is at 8:10. The pitching matchup will be Chris Archer (0-1 1.50 ERA) vs. Bruce Chen (6-6 4.81 ERA).
  • David Price said this about MLB Network and this about ESPN the other day on Twitter: