I think we can kill all those talks about the Royals getting back into this bad AL Central race. With three straight series losses to the Orioles, Indians, and Rays, the Royals now sit at 13-29, kicking off this home duel with two very uninspiring losses.
Things started well for the Rays and bad for the Royals. Marking a trail on the bases in the first inning, the Rays put three runs up by way of a CJ Cron two-run home run and Adeiny Hechavarria single.
The Royals got on the board in the second inning with Mike Moustakas doubling to lead off the inning, Alcides Escobar moving him to third with a single, and Alex Gordon driving him in with a groundout.
The Rays took that run right away though, as Mallex Smith drove in Brad Miller with a sac fly.
Anthony Banda was coasting along until the fifth inning when he allowed two runs by way of a Ryan Goins RBI groundout and Whit Merrifield RBI single, cutting the Royals deficit to one.
Ian Kennedy kept letting the Rays answer though, allowing a run in the fifth inning after catcher Jesus Sucre laid down a beautiful sac bunt that scored Mallex Smith. This would be the last damage down on Ian Kennedy, as he made it out of the following inning with no harm done, finishing the nigh with five earned runs allowed.
The Royals got some magic going in the seventh inning, quickly putting two runners in scoring position with a Alex Gordon walk and Hunter Dozier, one of his two hits on the night. That developed looked grim for a moment with Abraham Almonte and Ryan Goins filing unproductive outs (shocking!), but Whit Merrifield picked them up with a line drive single to center to knot the game up at five.
The top of the ninth inning saw a surprising occurrence, with Kelvin Herrera being unable to quit the Rays, allowing three singles and a run, his second allowed on the year. The bottom of the ninth inning saw an unsurprising occurrence, with the bottom of the order going scoreless against Rays closer Alex Colome, giving the team from St. Petersburg the victory.
The Royals will try to avoid the sweep in a day game tomorrow, sending the struggling Jason Hammel to the bump to counter against Jake Faria.