After being shutout on Monday night, the Rays came into Tuesday's game looking to score early runs of Royals starter Bruce Chen.
They did exactly that, stating the scoring in the first via a Hideki Matsui sac fly. Carlos Pena collided with Royals catcher Bryan Pena, who lost control of the baseball before the impact actually happened.
Then Brooks Conrad hit his first home run as a Tampa Bay Ray in the second inning to give the Rays a 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the Rays, it all went downhill from there.
The Royals had a big bottom of the third when they scored 4 runs. Alcides Escobar doubled in a run, and a Sean Rodriguez error helped him get to third base on the play. Rodriguez would commit another E6 on the very next pitch. Then Chris Archer made the biggest mistake of his outing , as he hung a slider to Bentancourt that resulted in a two run homer to make the game 4-2.
Archer had the shaky third inning, but pitched well the rest of the game 'till he left in the 6th. His command was decent all night, and he mixed up his pitches well setting up to that nasty slider of his. He finished the game with thee earned runs and seven strikeouts, walking just one batter.
Another four run inning would break open the ballgame in the eighth. Billy Butler added another run with a RBI single off Brandon Gomes to increase Kansas City’s lead to 5-2. Then Jeff Francoeur joined the slugfest, hitting a three-run blast later in the inning to give the Royals a 8-2 lead.
It was a horrendous outing by Brandon Gomes, who allowed four runs in just 0.1 innings pitch.
The Rays fall to 40-34, and take another big blow in the division. The Yankees just keep on winning, and are now 5.5 games up on Tampa Bay after last night's win. Boston won as well, and they are now just a scary game behind the Rays. The Orioles lost their game Tuesday, and remain 1.5 games ahead of the Rays.
Notable Stat Lines:
- Bruce Chen: (W,7-6) 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 5 K
- Chris Archer; (L,0-2) 5.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 7 K
- Jeff Keppinger: 2-4
- Brooks Conrad: 1-3, HR, R, RBI
- click here for a full box score
Rays News and Notes:
- The Rays look to wrap up this series on a high note as they take on the Royals Thursday; 2:10 ET first pitch. Matt Moore (4-5 4.13 ERA) will square off against Everett Teaford (0-1 5.73 ERA) in the series finale.
- Amidst his slump, Desmond Jennings was dropped from 1st to 7th in the order yesterday. Maddon said the reason was to take some pressure of Jennings, who hasn't been the same since returning off the DL.
- Luke Scott and Kyle Farnsworth—both on their minor league rehab stint—were in action yesterday. Farnsworth started the game for Triple-A Durham, throwing one scoreless inning. Scott went 1-5, and could return to the lineup when the Rays return home on Thursday.
- Leslie Anderson, who has lead the Durham Bulls in pretty much every offensive stat this season, has been placed on the DL with a groin strain. I guess the injury bug extends as far as the minors.
- Rays' second-round pick Spencer Edwards will join the Gulf Coast Rays.
- Here's a video of James Shields interviewing Chris Archer before the game: