EditorsNote: Minor fixes throughout
The Kansas City Royals scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning and defeated the visiting Tampa Bay Rays 8-2 Wednesday in the second game of a doubleheader.
The Royals did the same three-run burst in the first game and held on for a 3-2 victory. It was the Royals’ first doubleheader sweep since July 7, 2015, also against the Rays.
The Rays had won 11 of 12 games against the Royals coming into the day.
Glenn Sparkman (1-1), who took the 26th roster spot because of the doubleheader, picked up his first major league win. He pitched seven shutout innings, scattering three hits, walking one and striking out six.
Reigning Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell (2-3) took the loss. He allowed seven runs on six hits in three-plus innings, as the Royals knocked him out in the fourth inning for the second straight game. He went 3 1/3 innings in a 10-2 loss on April 24.
The seven runs allowed Wednesday mark a major league worst for Snell. He had allowed six runs three times.
The Royals got to Snell quickly. Just like he did in the first game, Whit Merrifield led off the first inning with a double. He was balked to third and scored on Jorge Soler’s two-out single. Kelvin Gutierrez then hit his first major league home run off the right field foul pole.
Gutierrez is the first Royals player to hit his first major league home run off a one-time Cy Young Award winner since Adalberto Mondesi did it against Justin Verlander on Aug. 16, 2016.
The Royals scored another run off Snell in the third. Mondesi walked, then stole second and third. He scored on Soler’s double down the left field line.
Snell did not record an out in the fourth. Cam Gallagher led off with a walk. Terrance Gore singled him to second, and both runners advanced on a passed ball. Billy Hamilton drove Gallagher home with a single, and Snell’s day was done. Merrifield and Mondesi greeted reliever Wilmer Font with RBI hits.
Ji-Man Choi and Daniel Robertson homered in the ninth for the Rays to avoid the shutout.
—Field Level Media