KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- This was exactly the sort of victory the Kansas City Royals failed time after time to get for Tony Pena.
Clutch pitching from the bullpen. Good plays on defense. And most of all, still-developing young players delivering key hits. It all added up to a rain-shortened 7-5 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday night, Kansas City's first since Pena resigned as manager on Tuesday night.
"I'm sure Tony will be happy for us when he hears we won tonight," said 22-year-old second baseman Ruben Gotay, who had an RBI single in the Royals' two-run sixth that made it 7-5. "All he ever wanted was just for us to win."
After a 1-hour, 36-minute delay at the start, the game was called with two outs in the top of the seventh following a 35-minute delay.
"I just wanted the guys to be aggressive," said interim manager Bob Schaefer, a candidate to replace Pena full-time. "I was proud of the way they swung the bats and put some runs on the board. It was fun to watch."
Rookie Mark Teahen's RBI double off Lance Carter (1-1) broke a 5-5 tie in the sixth and Gotay then singled as the Devil Rays lost their seventh consecutive road game and the Royals snapped a six-game home losing streak.
Mike Wood (2-2) picked up the win with 1 1/3 innings of hitless relief.
"Any win is good, especially in our situation," said Buck, who had been mired in a 2-for-25 slump. "We put ourselves in a position to win and a couple of things finally went our way. Hopefully this will be the end of all that losing and bad play and we can go from here."
Brown, who was 7-for-30 in his previous 12 games and 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, tripled, doubled and scored twice as the Royals built a 5-0 lead after three innings.
Terrence Long walked after Brown's triple and Buck's two-run double made it 3-0.
Brown drove in a run in the fourth with a double and Long then broke an 0-for-19 slide with an RBI single.
"We knew the rain was coming and we couldn't push across another run," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "It's just bad pitching. And this is not the only game. We've had a slew of them."
The resignation of Pena, the AL manager of the year in 2003, caught the players and team management by surprise.
"I was pretty close to Tony personally," Buck said. "It was a tough thing. He meant a lot to me on and off the field. We haven't been playing well for him and he took the brunt of it."
Nick Green's two-run single broke the Devil Rays' 0-for-20 skid with the bases loaded and keyed a four-run fourth. Jose Lima loaded the bases on two singles and a walk then walked Chris Singleton to force in a run.
Green then singled to center for Tampa Bay's first hit with the bases loaded since Julio Lugo's single on April 9 against Oakland. Alex Sanchez's RBI single made it 5-4, then Jorge Cantu's RBI double off Lima in the fifth tied the game between the majors' two lowest payrolls at 5-all.
"The rain hurts," Green said. "We came back from a five-run deficit and who says we couldn't get five more? I haven't been hitting well, but tonight I got good pitches."
Carter went two innings and gave up two runs and three hits.
Lima, winless in eight starts, went 5 1/3 innings and gave up five runs and seven hits.
Kazmir, who hasn't won since last Sept. 14, went four innings and was charged with five runs.
The Royals put RHP Kyle Snyder on the 15-day DL with a strained right shoulder and called up RHP D.J. Carrasco and scheduled him to start on Friday. ... Kazmir, who has made 15 major-league starts, hasn't won since beating the Red Sox 5-2 at Boston last season. ... The Devil Rays dropped to 1-11 on the road.