All losses are tough but these types are particularly tough to take. The Royals had thirteen hits and a runner on base in every inning and were only able to plate three runs. Even this is a little misleading as they scored two in the top of the ninth when they were already down three to Tampa Bay.
The Royals struck first with a run-scoring ground out by Salvador Perez in the fifth inning, This came after Lorenzo Cain singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, and was pushed to third by an Eric Hosmer singled before finally scoring on the ground out from Perez. There was a lot of work involved in scoring that one run.
Jason Vargas cruised through the Rays’ lineup pretty comfortably until the sixth inning when he gave up a Brandon Guyer double sandwiched between singles from Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria which scored two runs for the Rays. They added two in the eighth when Brandon Guyer singled on a bunt and Evan Longoria reached when Alcides Escobar tried to take Longoria’s ground out to second himself to start the double play. When the dust cleared, everyone was safe. Cue a James Loney double and a sacrifice fly from Logan Forsythe and the Rays had a 4-1 lead.
The Royals almost came back in the top of the ninth. Alcides Escobar was called out on strikes, but then Lorenzo Cain singled, Hosmer doubled, and Salvador Perez singled to make the score 4-3. Sadly, Alex Gordon then grounded out and Omar Infante struck out swinging.
Jason Vargas went 5.2 innings and gave up six hits for two earned runs. He had three strikeouts and two walks. Aaron Crow and Francisley Bueno combined for 2.1 innings, giving up two hits for two earned runs as well as a strikeout and a walk.
Jeremy Hellickson only lasted 4.1 innings giving up six hits and one earned run while acquiring two strikeouts and one walk. The combination of Brad Boxberger, Grant Balfour, Joel Peralta, and Jake McGee combined for 4.2 innings of relief giving up seven hits and two earned runs while four strikeouts and one walk.
Yordano Ventura takes the hill on the morrow in the hopes of securing a series win for the Royals.