|Kansas City (32-33) «||1||0||0||0||4||0||0||0||2||7||10||0|
|Tampa Bay (35-32)||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||7||0|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Kansas City Royals pitchers are enjoying a record-breaking run of success, and now the offense is joining in on the fun.
Luis Mendoza pitched six innings to win for the first time in six starts and Elliot Johnson had another big hit against his former team Friday night, leading the Royals to a 7-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Mendoza (2-3) gave up two runs and seven hits and three Royals relievers pitched three hitless innings as Kansas City held a 13th straight opponent to three runs or fewer. That franchise-record streak is the longest in the American League since Toronto went 15 games from June 26 to July 13, 1991.
Johnson had a game-tying triple among his two hits and Billy Butler drove in three runs for the Royals, who have won nine of 10.
"You can't say enough good things about what our pitching staff's done," Butler said. "They've been tremendous from day one, and it's been fun to watch. It's been really fun lately to have them meshing together with the offense and defense. We're playing some good baseball right now and it's fun to come to the ballpark when you're playing like that."
Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore (8-3) gave up five runs on seven hits and four walks in 5 1-3 innings with four strikeouts. He is 0-3 in five starts since winning his first eight starts of the season.
"Our pitching's been phenomenal. Another game today with two runs," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "Mendy started out really shaky. He was all over the place and he was behind on everybody. ... But he really settled himself in and his command got better. To get us into the seventh inning like he did is a great job."
Johnson, who had three hits including a three-run home run on Thursday night, tied it with a triple in a four-run fifth and scored on Alcides Escobar's single to put the Royals ahead.
Perez had two of Kansas City's 10 hits and drove in two runs.
The Rays have lost five of six games in a stretch in which their starting pitchers have a 9.29 ERA.
"That is awkward for us because we normally, on a nightly basis, feel really good about your matchup, your starter versus theirs," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We haven't had that feeling in a bit."
The Royals, who lead the AL with a 3.38 ERA, have not given up as many as four runs in a game since May 31, when they lost 7-2 at Texas. They have given up 25 runs in 13 games this month.
|Kansas City starter Luis Mendoza limits the Rays to two runs over six innings in the Royals' 7-2 road victory. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Kansas City Royals|
|Alex Gordon, LF||4||2||1||0||0||1||3||.302|
|Eric Hosmer, 1B||4||1||1||0||1||0||2||.273|
|Salvador Perez, C||5||1||2||2||0||0||2||.316|
|Billy Butler, DH||4||0||2||3||0||1||0||.277|
|Lorenzo Cain, CF||3||0||0||0||2||0||3||.279|
|Miguel Tejada, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||1||3||.310|
|Mike Moustakas, 3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.183|
|Jeff Francoeur, RF||3||1||1||0||1||2||0||.212|
|Elliot Johnson, 2B||4||1||2||1||0||1||0||.253|
|Alcides Escobar, SS||4||1||1||1||0||1||1||.238|
|2B - Eric Hosmer (11, Moore), Salvador Perez (11, Rodney)|
|3B - Elliot Johnson (1, Moore)|
|SF - Billy Butler (2)|
|RBI - Salvador Perez 2 (25), Billy Butler 3 (37), Elliot Johnson (8), Alcides Escobar (21)|
|2-OUT RBI - Salvador Perez (9), Billy Butler (15)|
|SB - Elliot Johnson (10, 2nd base off Wright/Lobaton)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Johnson-Escobar-Hosmer|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Luis Mendoza (W,2-3)||6||7||2||2||2||3||1||4.08|
|Aaron Crow (H,11)||0.2||0||0||0||0||2||0||4.05|
|Tim Collins (H,8)||1.1||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.38|
|WP - Aaron Crow (4)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Luis Mendoza 92-54, Aaron Crow 10-7, Tim Collins 13-10, Kelvin Herrera 28-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luis Mendoza 8-5|
|Batters Faced - Luis Mendoza 25, Aaron Crow 2, Tim Collins 4, Kelvin Herrera 5|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Matt Joyce, RF||4||1||2||1||0||0||2||.269|
|Ben Zobrist, 2B||2||1||0||0||2||0||0||.267|
|Kelly Johnson, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.249|
|Evan Longoria, DH||4||0||2||1||0||1||1||.308|
|James Loney, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.312|
|Desmond Jennings, CF||3||0||2||0||1||1||1||.252|
|Sam Fuld, LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.180|
|a- Luke Scott, PH-LF||1||0||1||0||1||0||0||.228|
|Jose Lobaton, C||4||0||0||0||0||2||4||.274|
|Yunel Escobar, SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.244|
|a-singled for Fuld in the 7th|
|2B - Matt Joyce (11, Mendoza), Evan Longoria (20, Mendoza), Desmond Jennings (15, Mendoza)|
|HR - Matt Joyce (13, Mendoza)|
|SH - Sam Fuld (3)|
|RBI - Matt Joyce (30), Evan Longoria (40)|
|PK - Matt Joyce (1, Mendoza)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Moore-Zobrist-Lobaton|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Matt Moore (L,8-3)||5.1||7||5||5||4||4||0||4.12|
|HBP - Gordon (by Matt Moore)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Matt Moore 100-59, Jamey Wright 16-11, Kyle Farnsworth 10-8, Fernando Rodney 14-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Moore 5-6, Jamey Wright 2-2, Fernando Rodney 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Matt Moore 27, Jamey Wright 5, Kyle Farnsworth 3, Fernando Rodney 6|
|Attendance - 13407|
|Game Time - 2:59|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Tim Timmons|