Willy Adames produced the only run Tampa Bay would need with a second-inning RBI infield single, and four pitchers allowed a combined six hits as the Rays defeated the Kansas City Royals on Monday night in St. Petersburg, Fla., in the opener of a four-game series.
Tampa Bay earned its second win in a row in the first game of a seven-game homestand.
Kansas City lost its second straight game and is now 0-4 against Tampa Bay this season. The Royals had two runners on base in the second, fourth and eighth innings but finished 0-for-5 with men in scoring position.
Hunter Wood made the start for Tampa Bay, the 35th time the Rays used a reliever as an “opener” and the eighth time Wood filled that role. Wood pitched 1 2/3 innings, giving up two hits and striking out two, before giving way to Ryan Yarbrough (12-5), who gave up just two hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings while coaxing six strikeouts.
The Rays’ Ryne Stanek was touched up for two hits in the eighth but got out of the jam by inducing a double-play groundout from Salvador Perez. Jose Alvarado pitched the ninth to earn his fifth save of the season.
Kevin Kiermaier led the Rays with three hits, and Mallex Smith had two singles for Tampa Bay. No one had more than one hit for Kansas City, but Lucas Duda was on base twice, with a single and a walk.
The Rays got on the board in the second inning when Adames hustled down the line for an infield single that allowed Joey Wendle to scamper home from third base. Adames initially was called out on the grounder to third, but the ruling was overturned by video replay.
Royals rookie Jorge Lopez (0-3) was the hard-luck loser, allowing one run on five hits and three walks in five innings while striking out three. Jake Newberry, Tim Hill and Brandon Maurer combined to shut out the Rays the rest of the way.
—Field Level Media