Kansas City at Tampa Bay

Kansas City
Tampa Bay
W: L. Mendoza (2-3) L: M. Moore (8-3)
HR: KC - None   TB - M. Joyce (13)

Mendoza sharp as Royals win ninth in their 10 games

CBSSports.com wire reports

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.

Matt Joyce hit his 13th home run, off Mendoza's third pitch of the game, and Evan Longoria drove in another run in the first inning with a double, giving the Rays a 2-1 lead. They never scored again.

"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.

Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez followed with hits and Butler, who had driven in the Royals' first run with a single, concluded the four-run inning with a sacrifice fly.

Butler drove in Kansas City's final run with a two-out single off Fernando Rodney in the ninth. It was his 517th RBI, moving him past Carlos Beltran into eighth place on the Royals' all-time list.

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.


  • Longoria was the DH for the second straight game. The slugger said he has been bothered the past two weeks by plantar fasciitis.
  • The Rays have signed SS Riley Unroe, their second round pick in this year's draft. His father, Tim Unroe, played five years in the majors.
  • Kansas City signed non-drafted free agent C Logan Davis, the son of current Royals minor league pitching coach and one-time NL Cy Young Award winner Mark Davis.
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Kansas City starter Luis Mendoza limits the Rays to two runs over six innings in the Royals' 7-2 road victory. (USATSI)
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
Kansas City

S. Perez
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
Tampa Bay

M. Joyce
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Kansas City Royals
Alex Gordon, LF4210013 .302
Eric Hosmer, 1B4110102 .273
Salvador Perez, C5122002 .316
Billy Butler, DH4023010 .277
Lorenzo Cain, CF3000203 .279
Miguel Tejada, 3B3000013 .310
    Mike Moustakas, 3B1000000 .183
Jeff Francoeur, RF3110120 .212
Elliot Johnson, 2B4121010 .253
Alcides Escobar, SS4111011 .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) 6722231 4.08
Aaron Crow (H,11) 0.2000020 4.05
Tim Collins (H,8) 1.1000020 2.38
Kelvin Herrera 1000220 4.07
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, RF4121002 .269
Ben Zobrist, 2B2100200 .267
Kelly Johnson, 3B4000022 .249
Evan Longoria, DH4021011 .308
James Loney, 1B4000012 .312
Desmond Jennings, CF3020111 .252
Sam Fuld, LF1000000 .180
   a- Luke Scott, PH-LF1010100 .228
Jose Lobaton, C4000024 .274
Yunel Escobar, SS4000023 .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) 5.1755440 4.12
Jamey Wright 1.2000010 3.55
Kyle Farnsworth 1000020 5.79
Fernando Rodney 1322000 5.40
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
Game Information
Attendance - 13407
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Tim Timmons