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Kansas City (47-43) «1001000035110
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Perez HR helps Royals rally past Rays in ninth

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Salvador Perez gave the Royals a late lift Wednesday night heading into a key midseason series.

Perez hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the ninth inning and Kansas City beat Tampa Bay 5-4 to take two of three from the Rays.

The second-place Royals return home Thursday night to begin a four-game series against AL Central-leading Detroit, which has a 4½-game lead.

''That was a huge win for us,'' Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. ''That's the difference between 4½ games back compared to 5½ games back. Definitely nice to have a little momentum going home for the last four games before the All-Star break. It's a lot better than the alternative.''

Kirby Yates (0-1), the fifth Tampa Bay reliever, entered with runners at the corners and gave up Perez's one-out shot into the left-field corner.

Perez wasn't sure if the drive would stay fair or even clear the low fence near the foul pole.

''As soon as the ball hit on the other side, good for us,'' he said.

It's been a big week for Perez, chosen Sunday to start at catcher for the American League in next week's All-Star game.

Aaron Crow (4-1) pitched a scoreless eighth and Greg Holland got three outs for his 24th save.

All-Star outfielder Alex Gordon (sprained right wrist) and third baseman Mike Moustakas (flu) were not in Kansas City's starting lineup. In addition, left-hander Jason Vargas was taken to the hospital for an appendectomy.

Gordon entered as a ninth-inning defensive replacement. He will have an MRI exam Thursday.

''I don't think it's anything serious,'' he said.

Kevin Kiermaier went 4 for 4 with a grand slam for the Rays.

Tampa Bay, which lost for the fourth time in 14 games, missed a chance to gain a game on AL East-leading Baltimore. The Rays remained nine games back of the Orioles in fourth place.

''It stings a little bit,'' Yates said. ''It's a game we could have won and we needed to win. Obviously, it doesn't feel good. It's a situation where you let your team down, but there's nothing I can do about it now.''

After starter Yordano Ventura walked light-hitting Jose Molina to load the bases with two outs in the fourth, Kiermaier sent a shot into the right-field stands to give Tampa Bay a 4-2 lead.

Eric Hosmer hit a first-pitch solo homer with two outs in the first off Alex Cobb that put the Royals up 1-0. It was the first time Cobb pitched against Kansas City since being struck near the right ear June 15 last year by a liner hit by Hosmer.

Cobb, sidelined for two months due to problems that included a concussion and symptoms of vertigo, allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Ventura gave up four runs, five hits and four walks in five innings. He struck out five.

The Royals loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth, but scored just once to take a 2-0 lead on Raul Ibanez's grounder. Kansas City failed to score with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh when reliever Grant Balfour got a pop fly from Perez.

Notes

Kansas City is 2-37 when trailing entering the ninth inning. ... Tampa Bay SS Yunel Escobar (shoulder) could return Friday. ... Kansas City RHP Jeremy Guthrie (5-7) and Tigers LHP Drew Smyly (4-8) are Thursday's scheduled starters. ... The Rays are off Thursday before starting a three-game series Friday night against Toronto.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

K. Kiermaier
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 1
RBI 4
Kansas City

S. Perez
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jarrod Dyson, CF5110011 .294
Lorenzo Cain, RF5020021 .324
Eric Hosmer, 1B2211301 .260
Salvador Perez, C5223004 .284
Omar Infante, 2B4030110 .272
Billy Butler, DH4020011 .272
   Christian Colon, PR-DH1000001 .300
Raul Ibanez, LF5001024 .150
   Alex Gordon, LF0000000 .268
Danny Valencia, 3B4000005 .281
Alcides Escobar, SS4000025 .283
Yordano Ventura, P0000000 .500
   Kelvin Herrera, P0000000 .000
   Scott Downs, P0000000 .000
   Aaron Crow, P0000000 .000
   Greg Holland, P0000000 .000
Totals39511549  
Batting
HR - Eric Hosmer (5, Cobb), Salvador Perez (11, Yates)
RBI - Eric Hosmer (39), Salvador Perez 3 (35), Raul Ibanez (23)
2-OUT RBI - Eric Hosmer (9)
SB - Jarrod Dyson 2 (16, 2nd base off Peralta/Molina), Lorenzo Cain (12, 2nd base off Cobb/Molina)
Team LOB - 11
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Yordano Ventura 5544451 3.28
Kelvin Herrera 0.2200100 2.19
Scott Downs 1.1000000 5.33
Aaron Crow (W,4-1) 1100200 2.39
Greg Holland (S,24) 1000020 1.87
HBP - S. Rodriguez (by Yordano Ventura)
Pitches-Strikes - Yordano Ventura 104-60, Kelvin Herrera 22-10, Scott Downs 15-11, Aaron Crow 22-10, Greg Holland 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yordano Ventura 2-7, Kelvin Herrera 2-0, Scott Downs 1-3, Greg Holland 1-0
Batters Faced - Yordano Ventura 24, Kelvin Herrera 5, Scott Downs 4, Aaron Crow 6, Greg Holland 3
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Desmond Jennings, CF4000120 .243
Ben Zobrist, SS2000300 .266
Matt Joyce, DH3010011 .269
   a-Logan Forsythe, PH-DH2000006 .236
Evan Longoria, 3B4110120 .262
James Loney, 1B4100112 .277
Brandon Guyer, LF5010014 .262
Sean Rodriguez, 2B3000002 .237
Jose Molina, C3110102 .187
Kevin Kiermaier, RF4144000 .297
Alex Cobb, P0000000 .000
   Grant Balfour, P0000000 .000
   Jake McGee, P0000000 .000
   Brad Boxberger, P0000000 .000
   Joel Peralta, P0000000 .000
   Kirby Yates, P0000000 .000
Totals3448477  
a-flied out for Joyce in the 6th
Batting
HR - Kevin Kiermaier (8, Ventura)
RBI - Kevin Kiermaier 4 (21)
2-OUT RBI - Kevin Kiermaier 4 (9)
PK - Kevin Kiermaier (1, Ventura)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
E - Ben Zobrist (8, Throwing)
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Alex Cobb 6.2622271 4.14
Grant Balfour (H,6) 0.1000100 4.89
Jake McGee (H,11) 0.1200010 1.56
Brad Boxberger (H,6) 0.2000000 2.52
Joel Peralta (H,13) 0.1122110 4.26
Kirby Yates (L,0-1; BS,1) 0.2211001 2.57
Pitches-Strikes - Alex Cobb 98-63, Grant Balfour 7-3, Jake McGee 14-10, Brad Boxberger 10-7, Joel Peralta 13-6, Kirby Yates 8-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alex Cobb 11-3, Brad Boxberger 1-1
Batters Faced - Alex Cobb 29, Grant Balfour 2, Jake McGee 3, Brad Boxberger 2, Joel Peralta 3, Kirby Yates 4
Game Information
Attendance - 12150
Game Time - 3:35
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Mark Carlson, Second Base - Scott Barry, Third Base - Jeff Nelson