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Kris Medlen and the Royals defeat the Rays 6-3 in St. Petersburg

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Vladimir Putin watches in disgust.

The scene outside of the stadium in Russia.
The scene outside of the stadium in Russia.
Alexander Aksakov/Getty Images

While he didn't cruise through the Rays' lineup with as much ease as he did against the Orioles on Monday, Kris Medlen's second start back was nothing if not encouraging.

Dealing with the obvious pressures of an entire nation watching with hopeful eyes as the Royals faced Vladimir Putin's stooges in the bosom of Mother Russia, Medlen lasted 5.1 innings while once again working under a pitch limit of about 80 as he works his way back into the starting rotation. Medlen cruised through the first three innings with shocking efficiency, but he ran into a bit of trouble in the fourth.

The St. Petersburg Rays opened their strike with a John Jaso double. After Logan Forsythe moved Jaso up 90 feet with a ground-out, Asdrubal Cabrera singled Jaso in for the first run in support of the Red Army. James Loney followed with a fly ball to Jarrod Dyson for the second out of the frame. Unfortunately, Kris Medlen made his second mistake of the inning while facing the red hot Kevin Kiermaier, missing his mark with a fastball left in the heart of the strike zone only to watch it get deposited 417 feet away from home in the stands in right center.

Fortunately for Medlen, the Royals, and America, those three runs were all the dastardly Rays could muster.

The Royals scored two in the fourth, two again in the fifth to retake the lead, and added a run apiece in the sixth and ninth to win 6 - 3. In the fourth, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Kendrys Morales, and Mike Moustakas walked, doubled, reached on an error and doubled in that order, the doubles each accounting for a Royals run.

The comeback rally in the fifth got kickstarted by an Alcides Escobar lead-off single. Cain worked a one-out walk, but Hosmer struck out looking for the second out of the inning. As the Royals seem predestined to do, the Royals added two more two-out runs with Kendrys Morales singling and the Mike Moustakas following with a double, plating Escobar and Cain respectively.

Mike Moustakas's double marked the end of Jake Odorizzi's night, marking just the third time this season that the former Royals top prospect did not make it out of the fifth inning. When Odorizzi departed, his longing to be freed from Putin's grip was clear as he looked toward the Royals' dugout and mouthed the question, "Why?"

Lorenzo Cain ripped an RBI single in the sixth, and Mike Moustakas added one of his own in the ninth for the last two Kansas City runs of the night.

The decisiveness of the Royals win was imperative for the United States and the hope of the free world. With Putin growing more powerful and bolder every day, any blow against Russia--especially in future Putingrad--is one more event that could tip the scales in favor of freedom.

In Medlen's 5.1 innings, he struck out five, walked two, hit two batters, allowed four hits, and yielded three runs.

Franklin Morales and Chris Young each threw 1.1 scoreless innings, and Wade Davis recorded a quick seven-pitch save to close out the win.

The Royals are now 80-49, marking the first time the team has been 31 games over .500 since they went 18-11. This brings the Royals to a 6-0 record against the Rays, surely a demoralizing blow to the Red Army.