One night after blowing out the TB Rays, the visiting KC Royals once again put up a big inning to win 7-2.
Down 2-1 heading into the top of the fifth, the Royals scored four runs to take the lead they would not relinquish. They also scored two more runs in the ninth against Rays closer Fernando Rodney.
Rays lefty Matt Moore started the season at 8-0, but has since fallen flat. Tonight was no different. He was cruising after allowing a single Royals run in the first on Billy Butler‘s RBI single. Then the 5th inning happened.
Jeff Francoeur singled to lead off the inning and scored on Elliot Johnson‘s triple. Johnson scored on Alcides Escobar‘s single. With one out, Eric Hosmer doubled before Salvador Perez singled home one run. Butler‘s sac fly ended the scoring.
The Royals chased Moore from the game with one out and two on in the sixth.
Meanwhile, Royals starter Luis Mendoza settled down after the first inning, when he allowed a leadoff homerun and an Evan Longoria RBI double. He allowed a one out double to Matt Joyce in the bottom of the fifth, but picked him off. Mendoza was chased from the game in the seventh after allowing a leadoff double and a fielding error by Escobar.
Aaron Crow struck out both batters he faced before lefty Tim Collins entered and got Joyce to fly out to end the inning. He then struck out two of the three batters he faced in the 8th inning. In the ninth, Kelvin Herrera worked around two walks with two strikeouts and a fly out.
The two teams continue their series on Saturday, as Jeremy Guthrie faces Alex Cobb.
*Every hitter, except the third baseman (Miguel Tejada and Mike Moustakas) picked up at least one hit. Perez and Butler (the new 3-4 hitters) went a combined 4-for-9 with five RBIs.
**In the month of June, the Royals have won 10 of their 13 games and have moved to just five games back in the American League Central.