Rays Beat Royals, Win Series Finale 5-3
The Rays wrapped up a three-game series with the Royals Wednesday afternoon, coming out with the 5-3 victory to take the rubber match.
James Shields got the start against right-hander Luis Mendoza, and gave the Rays another quality outing leading them to the win.
Kansas City stuck first, however, as Jeff Francoeur knocked in the game's first run with an RBI single in the top of the second.
The Rays responded in the third inning with two runs; one via a Ben Zobrist sacrifice fly and the other from a Jeff Keppinger RBI single.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Rays extended their lead to 3-1 with a Ryan Roberts RBI double.
The Rays tacked on one more key insurance run in the seventh when Sam Fuld scored on a close play at the plate following a double by Zobrist and a missed catch Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar.
Trailing 4-1, the Royals threatened the Rays' lead with an eighth inning rally as the wheels started to fall off the laboring Shields. Back-to-back two-out RBI hits by Escobar (triple) and Alex Gordon (single) quickly made it 4-3 ballgame. Shields was charged to both runs, as Gordon's single off of Jake McGee scored Escobar (Shields' responsibility) from third.
Kyle Farnsworth then came in to try to stop the bleeding and keep the Rays' one-run lead, and did exactly that as he retired the only batter he faced.
The Rays got back one of those two runs in the bottom half of the inning, as Jose Lobaton belted a solo dinger to center field. The home run was his second of the season (and career), and just like after his first homer, Lobaton was served ice cream by Luke Scott and the Rays.
Fernando Rodney came in to close the door in the ninth, and notched his 39th save with a quick 1-2-3 inning to seal the series victory.
Notable Stat Lines:
- J. Shields (W,12-7): 5 H, 3 ER, BB, 7 K through 7.2 IP
- B.J. Upton: 2-5, R, SB
- B. Zobrist: 1-2, RBI, BB
- J. Keppinger: 2-4, RBI
- R. Roberts: 1-3, RBI, BB
- Jose Lobaton: 1-3, HR, R, RBI
Rays News and Notes:
- Evan Longoria was back at the DH position after starting at third base Tuesday. Luke Scott sat out this game.
- Bartolo Colon—who was scheduled to start against the Rays tomorrow night—has been suspended 50 games for PED use, just a week after San Francisco's Melky Cabrera was suspended for the same exact thing across the Bay. I don't think anybody can say they're surprised.
- The Rays will kick off a four-game home series against Oakland tomorrow night. Tyson Ross (2-8, 6.35 ERA) will be called up from Triple-A to replace Colon and take on Alex Cobb (7-8, 4.74 ERA); first pitch at 7:10.
- Episode 2 of NBC/MLB Production's new series Caught Looking will be aired Thursday night at 9 PM ET and will feature the Rays. The show does behind-the-scenes access on a MLB series, and this episode will be specifically on the Rays-Angels series in Anaheim last weekend. Here's a sneak peek.