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Tampa Bay at Kansas City

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Tampa Bay (34-52)000321001782
Kansas City (37-50) «001120031892

Royals 8, Devil Rays 7

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Even Kansas City manager Buddy Bell was stunned by this one.

Mark Grudzielanek's RBI single off Shawn Camp with two out in the ninth inning lifted the Royals to a wild 8-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Saturday night.

The Devil Rays led 6-4 going into the eighth but Jay Witasick and Casey Fossum combined to walk the first five batters of the inning, and Billy Butler's RBI single gave the Royals a 7-6 lead. Tampa Bay then tied in the ninth with the help of a catcher's interference call.

"This game is crazy," Bell said. "You never know what's going to happen next."

Witasick left after walking the first three batters, including Mark Teahen, after having him down 0-2. Two of the batters were left-handers against the right-handed Witasick.

"In the last month strictly with lefties, I don't know what couch I need to lay on," he said. "I just can't get a lefty out right now."

The loss came one night after the Devil Rays almost blew a big lead and held on to snap an 11-game losing streak.

"When you walk five guys in a row at that juncture in the game, bad things normally happen," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It's really unfortunate. We played well again and we've had that happen way too often this year."

Tony Pena Jr. singled leading off the ninth against Camp (0-3) and was sacrificed to second. He went to third on Esteban German's infield out before the Devil Rays intentionally walked a batter to get to Grudzielanek.

The veteran second baseman, who came off the disabled list late this week, did not take it personally.

"I would have walked myself, too," Grudzielanek said. "I have four at-bats in almost three weeks. It was the smartest thing to do."

With two out in the top of the ninth and the Royals leading 7-6, Carl Crawford reached on an interference call against catcher John Buck and then stole second. Crawford, one of the league's fastest runners, then came around to score the tying run when Brendan Harris singled off Octavio Dotel (2-1).

Carlos Pena and Jonny Gomes each homered off Gil Meche to help Tampa Bay build a 6-4 lead.

"They couldn't find the strike zone and we had enough patience to continue to let them throw the ball out of the strike zone," Bell said of Kansas City's eighth-inning rally. "So I guess we should take some of the credit. But you just don't expect that to happen."

Meche, Kansas City's lone representative for Tuesday's All-Star Game, gave up six hits and five runs in six innings. He walked four, all in the three-run fourth inning.

Tampa Bay's Andy Sonnanstine went seven innings in his seventh major league start. The rookie right-hander was charged with four runs -- three earned -- and six hits. He struck out five and walked one.

Witasick said he refused to stop trying to hit the corners with breaking pitches even though his control had obviously deserted him.

"You don't ever go, ;OK, I'm throwing the ball down the middle,'" he said. "That's just not part of the program. You always try to make your pitches, and you do it for as long as you can."

Carlos Pena's two-run homer handed Sonnanstine a 5-2 lead in the fifth, but the Royals came back with two in the bottom half on Butler's third homer of the season and an RBI single by David DeJesus.

Joey Gathright, who had bunted safely, scored on the single after being safe at second when shortstop Harris was charged with an error for dropping the throw from catcher Dioner Navarro on Gathright's attempted steal.

Tony Pena Jr.'s sacrifice fly gave the Royals a run in the third, and German tripled leading off the fourth and scored when Navarro threw wildly to third on a pickoff attempt.

Notes

Devil Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey was back after missing 12 games following eye surgery. ... Saturday, 7-7-07, was Buck's 27th birthday. ... The prognosis for Kansas City designated hitter Mike Sweeney is worse than originally thought. The Royals now say he'll be out at least another six weeks following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Kansas City

B. Butler
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Tampa Bay

C. Pena
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 3B5120020 .300
Carl Crawford, LF3200112 .286
Brendan Harris, SS5031001 .313
Carlos Pena, 1B3212211 .288
Ty Wigginton, 2B4100104 .268
Greg Norton, DH3001110 .181
Delmon Young, CF4011020 .279
Jonny Gomes, RF3112010 .256
Dioner Navarro, C4000022 .178
Totals34787510  
Batting
3B - Akinori Iwamura (4, Meche)
HR - Carlos Pena (20, Meche), Jonny Gomes (7, Meche)
SF - Jonny Gomes (2)
RBI - Brendan Harris (39), Carlos Pena 2 (52), Greg Norton (7), Delmon Young (48), Jonny Gomes 2 (19)
2-OUT RBI - Brendan Harris (18), Carlos Pena 2 (27), Jonny Gomes (9)
SB - Carl Crawford (23, 2nd base off Dotel/Buck)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Navarro-Harris, Iwamura-Navarro-Pena
E - Brendan Harris (9, Missed catch of throw), Dioner Navarro (4, Throwing)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Andy Sonnanstine 7643151 5.36
Jay Witasick0033300 4.81
Casey Fossum (BS,3)0000200 7.17
Shawn Camp (L,0-3) 1.2311100 5.66
IBB - Teahen by Shawn Camp
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Sonnanstine 97-66, Jay Witasick 19-7, Casey Fossum 12-4, Shawn Camp 20-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Sonnanstine 6-9, Shawn Camp 4-0
Batters Faced - Andy Sonnanstine 27, Jay Witasick 3, Casey Fossum 2, Shawn Camp 8
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF3111100 .284
Esteban German, 2B-3B3220201 .281
Mark Teahen, RF3100213 .282
Ross Gload, 1B3000020 .246
   a- Emil Brown, PH0001100 .222
    Mark Grudzielanek, 2B1011000 .270
Alex Gordon, 3B-1B3001100 .233
Billy Butler, DH4122010 .284
John Buck, C4110011 .245
Joey Gathright, LF3110002 .328
Tony Pena, SS3111001 .275
Totals3089775  
a-walked for Gload in the 8th
Batting
2B - John Buck (12, Sonnanstine)
3B - Esteban German (4, Sonnanstine)
HR - Billy Butler (3, Sonnanstine)
SF - Tony Pena (2)
SH - David DeJesus (3), Joey Gathright (5)
RBI - David DeJesus (32), Emil Brown (33), Mark Grudzielanek (27), Alex Gordon (26), Billy Butler 2 (14), Tony Pena (23)
2-OUT RBI - David DeJesus (14), Mark Grudzielanek (13)
CS - Esteban German (4, 2nd base by Sonnanstine/Navarro), Joey Gathright (2, 2nd base by Sonnanstine/Navarro)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - John Buck (7, Interference), Mark Teahen (4, Misplayed grounder)
Kansas City Royals
Gil Meche 6566442 3.54
Jimmy Gobble 0.2200010 2.70
Zack Greinke 1.1000030 4.43
Octavio Dotel (BS,3; W,2-1) 1110120 3.71
IBB - Pena by Octavio Dotel
WP - Gil Meche (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Gil Meche 90-55, Jimmy Gobble 15-9, Zack Greinke 22-16, Octavio Dotel 23-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gil Meche 6-8, Jimmy Gobble 1-0, Zack Greinke 1-0
Batters Faced - Gil Meche 27, Jimmy Gobble 4, Zack Greinke 4, Octavio Dotel 6
Game Information
Attendance - 20458
Game Time - 3:12
Temperature - 90
Umpires - Home - James Hoye, First Base - Scott Barry, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Tom Hallion