BY: John Mamola
The Rays bats were silenced in their first road game of the season as Royals starting pitcher Jason Vargas goes eight strong innings getting the 4-2 win over Tampa Bay. Vargas was stellar in his second consecutive start for the Royals after signing a $32 million, four year contract this past off season.
The left-hander came into the contest against Tampa Bay 3-1 with a 1.32 ERA over a four-start stretch against the Rays before surrendering five runs and 10 hits in four innings of a 7-1 home loss Sept. 3 while with the Los Angeles Angels. Vargas would need very little help from his offense to nab his second win of the season, his first at Kauffman Stadium.
Eric Hosmer got the Royals on the board against Rays starter Matt Moore in the very first inning with a RBI single to left giving Kansas City a 1-0 lead. Moore would struggle throughout the contest having to work out of several high pressure jams but leaving the game early due to injury. Moore was taken out of the game in the top of the fifth inning after grimacing on a 2-2 pitch to Nori Aoki. The Rays reported left elbow soreness for Moore who will have an MRI on Tuesday.
Alcides Escobar added three more for Kansas City in the sixth inning with a three RBI double off Rays’ reliever Heath Bell giving the Royals a 4-0 lead.
Ben Zobrist added a solo home run and Matt Joyce punched in another run in the frame with an RBI single in the top of the ninth, but the offensive struggles continue for the Rays with runners in scoring position. The Rays are 2-33 with runners in scoring position in their four losses this season.
The Rays will look to rebound and grab their first road win of the season tomorrow night in Kansas City as Chris Archer will face Yordano Ventura. You can catch all the action on WDAE beginning at 7:30pm with the pre-game and an 8:10pm first pitch.