ST PETERSBURG (CBS) The Tampa Bay Rays got off to a solid start Friday night against the Kansas City Royals, but with the troubles the Rays have been having at the plate this season you could only guess the success wouldn’t last long, and it didn’t.
The Rays came out swinging in the top of the first inning , with consecutive doubles from Johnny Damon and Ben Zobrist off of Royals starting pitcher Luke Hochevar (6-8) to give them an early 1-0 lead. Wade Davis (7-7) gave up two doubles and a single in the bottom of the first inning as the Royals answered back with three runs of their own.
Davis showed signs of fatigue by the sixth inning, and skipper Joe Maddon called on J.P Howell in relief. Howell made a brief appearance but was soon replaced by Brandon Gomes in the seventh. The Rays pitching lacked confidence and the defense made costly mistakes which ultimately led to a convincing win for the Royals.
Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce tried to give life to an ailing offense with back-to-back homers in the sixth, but it wasn’t enough in the end, with the Rays going 1 for 8 in the game with runners in scoring position.
With a 10-game road trip ahead of them, this team needs to put this poor performance behind them and look to improve their 28-21 record away from home, which at this point trumps their 24-25 record at Tropicana Field this season.