EditorsNote: adds “seventh save” in fourth graf; fixes to “five hits” in fifth graf; fixes to “third inning” in seventh graf
Matt Duffy provided the offense, and Ryan Yarbrough, with support from the bullpen, delivered on the mound as the Tampa Bay Rays opened a three-game series at Kansas City with a 2-1 win over the struggling Royals on Monday.
Duffy had a pair of RBI singles, driving home C.J. Cron in the first inning and bringing home Adeiny Hechavarria for the go-ahead run in the sixth inning.
Tampa Bay got little going against the Rays bullpen but did mount a threat in the ninth inning. Jon Jay tripled with one out off Rays reliever Alex Colome.
Colome responded by striking out Ryan Goins looking and inducing Alex Gordon to ground out to short to end the inning and secure his seventh save.
Yarbrough allowed one run on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts in five innings. Chaz Roe, Jonny Venters, Sergio Romo, Jose Alvarado and Colome combined to throw four scoreless innings in relief.
Whit Merrifield had a solo home run for the Royals, who have dropped three consecutive games.
Merrifield led off the bottom of the third inning with his fourth home run of the season, a blast to left field that tied the score 1-1.
Hechavarria opened the top of the sixth inning with a double deep to center field. After Cron flied out, Hechavarria came home on Duffy’s single to put the Rays back on top 2-1.
Duffy finished 3-for-4, and Hechavarria went 2-for-4.
The Rays’ bullpen did the rest. Roe retired the side in order in the sixth, and Venters, Romo and Alvarado combined to sit down six straight Royals in the seventh and eighth innings.
Anthony Banda is slated to get the start for the Rays on Tuesday. Kansas City will counter with Ian Kennedy.
—Field Level Media