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Tampa Bay at Kansas City

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Tampa Bay (4-4)000000002260
Kansas City (3-3) «10000300x481

Vargas, Royals stymie Rays; Moore exits with sore elbow

CBSSports.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- This one could be a costly victory for the Kansas City Royals and an expensive loss for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Jason Vargas took a shutout into the ninth inning, Alcides Escobar hit a three-run double and the Royals beat the Rays 4-2 on Monday night in a game that included two significant injuries.

Rays starter Matt Moore (0-2) came out in the fifth inning with a sore left elbow. The All-Star lefty grimaced after throwing a pitch to Norichika Aoki and was immediately removed by manager Joe Maddon.

Two innings later, Royals second baseman Omar Infante was hit in the left jaw by a pitch from Heath Bell. A bleeding Infante walked off the field under his own power.

Moore won 17 games last year, but missed 31 games with an elbow injury. He threw 78 pitches Monday and was replaced by Cesar Ramos.

"It has to be checked," Maddon said. "There will be tests tomorrow. We don't know what's going on yet. We'll get an update later. He tried to talk me out of taking him out but I said I didn't think it's a good idea. I went out there and I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. I like to communicate with our guys. He just felt something on a pitch. We knew we can't take any chances on anything."

Moore said his final pitch was a changeup.

"There was no particular pain," he said. "It really came out of nowhere. I felt it when I was pitching to Escobar, on a changeup, and then I threw two more changeups to Aoki and I felt it. I actually threw a curveball to Aoki to see if I would feel it then, too, but I didn't. It may have something to do with changeups in that situation."

Moore, who will have an MRI exam Tuesday, went on the disabled list last July 31 with a sore elbow and did not return until Sept. 3.

"It's the same pitch and the area is pretty much the exact same spot," Moore said.

Infante was spitting blood as trainers held a towel to his face.

"They put a number of stitches in there to close the cut," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "They are going to go scan it and see if his jaw is fractured. We'll know more later. I'm not going to make any decisions [on roster moves] until we find out what's going on with Omar and we'll move forward from there.

"He was bleeding tremendously from the cut. I didn't know until they had taken him upstairs that he got hit on the jaw. When we got there they had the towel [over his head] and there was blood all down his shirt. There was no cut on his forehead that I could see."

Danny Valencia ran for Infante, who signed a $30.25 million, four-year contract with the Royals in December after hitting .318 last season for Detroit.

"He was smoked. We're worried about a concussion, too. It shakes you for sure because it's a very ugly sound for somebody to be hit in the face," Yost said. "It was a cool night, but I noticed I broke out in a sweat real quick, so it definitely affected me. Of course, you have a lot of worry about it."

Vargas (1-0) allowed four hits, walked one and struck out two in eight-plus innings, lowering his ERA to 1.20 in two starts. He lost his shutout bid when Ben Zobrist homered on his second pitch in the ninth.

Greg Holland replaced Vargas and earned his third save, but not before giving up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Matt Joyce.

Escobar was 1 for 19 before his bases-loaded double off the left field wall on a 2-2 pitch from Bell with two outs in the seventh. Escobar's three RBI matched his career high. Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain singled to load the bases before Escobar's first extra-base hit of the season.

Eric Hosmer singled home Aoki, who tripled, in the first inning.

The Rays, who have lost seven straight at Kauffman Stadium, have scored three runs in their four losses this year while going 2 for 33 with runners in scoring position during those defeats.

Evan Longoria had three of the Rays' six hits.

Notes

The Royals placed LHPs Tim Collins (strained left elbow) and Francisley Bueno (sprained left little finger) on the disabled list. They recalled RHP Michael Mariot and LHP Donnie Joseph from Triple-A Omaha. ... The Rays are 3-14 in road openers. They have not won a road opener since 2010 at Baltimore. ... Royals RHP Louis Coleman (bruised right middle finger) threw a bullpen session and could be activated Tuesday, the first day he is eligible to come off the disabled list.

 
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Rays All-Star lefty Matt Moore exits his start in the fifth inning with a sore left elbow.  (USATSI)
Rays All-Star lefty Matt Moore exits his start in the fifth inning with a sore left elbow. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

E. Longoria
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
Kansas City

A. Escobar
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 3
 
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Desmond Jennings, CF3000110 .276
Wil Myers, RF4000011 .185
Ben Zobrist, 2B4121000 .286
Evan Longoria, 3B4030000 .414
Logan Forsythe, DH4100004 .150
James Loney, 1B4000001 .217
Sean Rodriguez, LF3000001 .200
   a-Matt Joyce, PH1011000 .444
Ryan Hanigan, C3000000 .294
   b-David DeJesus, PH1000011 .235
Yunel Escobar, SS3000001 .185
Matt Moore, P0000000 .000
   Cesar Ramos, P0000000 .000
   Heath Bell, P0000000 .000
Totals3426213  
a-singled for S. Rodriguez in the 9th
b-struck out for Hanigan in the 9th
Batting
2B - Evan Longoria (3, Vargas)
HR - Ben Zobrist (1, Vargas)
RBI - Ben Zobrist (2), Matt Joyce (6)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Joyce (5)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Longoria-Zobrist-Loney, Longoria-Zobrist-Loney-Escobar-Loney
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Matt Moore (L,0-2) 4.1411220 2.70
Cesar Ramos 1111110 3.00
Heath Bell 2.2322120 3.18
WP - Heath Bell (1)
HBP - Infante (by Heath Bell)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Moore 78-45, Cesar Ramos 19-11, Heath Bell 40-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Moore 7-3, Cesar Ramos 1-1, Heath Bell 4-1
Batters Faced - Matt Moore 18, Cesar Ramos 5, Heath Bell 12
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Norichika Aoki, RF4120011 .300
Omar Infante, 2B2010101 .348
   Danny Valencia, PR-2B0000000 .250
Eric Hosmer, 1B4011003 .273
Billy Butler, DH4000013 .200
Alex Gordon, LF4110002 .261
Salvador Perez, C2110200 .444
Mike Moustakas, 3B3000123 .000
Lorenzo Cain, CF4110013 .318
Alcides Escobar, SS3013002 .100
Jason Vargas, P0000000 .000
   Greg Holland, P0000000 .000
Totals3048445  
Batting
2B - Alcides Escobar (1, Bell)
3B - Norichika Aoki (1, Moore)
RBI - Eric Hosmer (1), Alcides Escobar 3 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Alcides Escobar 3 (3)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Eric Hosmer (1, Missed catch of throw)
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jason Vargas (W,1-0) 8411121 1.20
Greg Holland (S,3) 1211010 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Vargas 110-74, Greg Holland 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Vargas 10-13, Greg Holland 2-0
Batters Faced - Jason Vargas 30, Greg Holland 5
Game Information
Attendance - 12087
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Quinn Wolcott, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi