Hechavarria shimmies past Perez at plate, Rays beat Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Adeiny Hechavarria sidestepped catcher Salvador Perez, and instinct took over. Right hand, left hand - then straight to the highlight reels.

Hechavarria danced around Perez with an inventive slide at home plate to score the go-ahead run, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Kansas City Royals 2-1 on Monday night.

Hechavarria ran through third base coach Matt Quatraro's stop sign on Matt Duffy's single to right field in the sixth inning, deked to avoid Perez's lunging tag attempted, then dived back toward the plate. Hechavarria faked toward the dish with his right hand, then jabbed his left hand just past Perez's outstretched glove to touch the plate. Umpire Rob Drake immediately signaled him safe.

''That was pure instinct,'' Hechavarria said through an interpreter. ''I went in thinking, going into a slide, but he was right there kind of blocking the plate, so I went around. I was going to put one hand in, and I saw he was going to put one hand there, so I flipped and put the other hand in there just in time.''

Perez said he expected Hechavarria to jump or slide on a close play. Instead, the backstop ended up diving all over trying to follow Hechavarria's body.

''He did a tremendous job changing hands,'' Perez said. ''I think the right hand at first and soon as he sees me (about) to tag him, then he changed from the right to the left and I was too late. That was a great slide. He was safe. We don't challenge. It's hard to prepare for that.''

Rays manager Kevin Cash was not pleased with one aspect of the winning run.

''Running through a stop sign, I guess he felt like being acrobatic,'' Cash said. ''That was a really impressive slide, but we're probably not going to benefit from making those decisions too often, but it was nice that we did tonight.''

Ryan Yarbrough (3-2) allowed one run over five innings for Tampa Bay, and Duffy had three hits and drove in both runs. Alex Colome worked the ninth for his seventh save in nine opportunities.

Eric Skoglund (1-3) permitted two runs on seven hits, walked none and struck out four in 7 2/3 innings, his longest career outing. He tied a Royals' record with six assists by a pitcher.

Whit Merrifield had three hits for his seventh multihit game in the past 14 and homered into the Rays' bullpen to lead off the third.

Yarbrough gave up five hits and picked up his first career victory as a starter. Five Rays relievers held the Royals to one hit over the final four innings.

Jon Jay tripled with one out in the ninth, but Colome struck out Ryan Goins and retired Alex Gordon on a grounder to end the game.

C.J. Cron doubled in the first, extending his on-base streak to 20 games, and scored on Duffy's single to right. Cron later hit a pitch from Skoglund after it bounced in front of home plate, knocking a line drive that was caught in left field in the sixth.

Yarbrough wriggled out of a bases-loaded jam with one out in the fifth. Alcides Escobar and Merrifield singled and Jorge Soler walked on four pitches. Mike Moustakas bounced a first pitch back to Yarbrough to start an inning-ending double play.

''We got some momentum change after the double play,'' Yarbrough said.

ROSTER MOVES

Rays: RHP Andrew Kittredge was optioned to Triple-A Durham. Kittredge was 1-2 with a 9.72 ERA in 13 appearances. They recalled RHP Hunter Wood from Durham. The Rays will activate LHP Anthony Banda on Tuesday and start him against the Royals. Banda went 4-2 in seven starts at Durham.

Royals: IF-OF Hunter Dozier was recalled from Triple-A Omaha and made his first big league start at first base. Dozier, a 2013 first-round pick, played in eight games with the Royals in 2016, playing right field in seven and DHing in the other. He was hitting .254 in 35 games with the Storm Chasers.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rays: RHP Nathan Eovaldi was scratched from a minor league rehab start with a right rib muscle strain. He's been on the disabled list all season with loose fragments in his pitching elbow.

Royals: 1B Lucas Duda was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right foot plantar fasciitis. RHP Justin Grimm has reported to Triple-A Omaha to begin a rehab assignment. He is on the disabled list with a lower back injury. Royals 3B Cheslor Cuthbert left after seven innings with back spasms.

UP NEXT

Rays: Banda will make his Tampa Bay debut after appearing in eight games last year with Arizona. He was acquired in a six-player, three-team trade in February, which also included the Yankees.

Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy will try to rebound from a loss Thursday at Baltimore, where he allowed nine runs in four innings.

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123456789RHE
TB17-22
100001000280
KC13-28
001000000160
  • W: R. Yarbrough (3-2)L: E. Skoglund (1-3)S: A. Colome (7)
  • HR: KC - W. Merrifield (4)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
A. Hechavarria SS41200010.268.301.341.6423.5
C. Cron 1B41100012.280.329.487.8162.5
M. Duffy 3B40320000.322.352.424.7763.0
W. Ramos C40000022.282.328.427.755-1.0
D. Robertson 2B40000010.267.421.433.854-0.5
B. Miller DH30000010.229.306.406.712-0.5
J. Field CF-LF30100000.273.319.477.7961.0
C. Gomez RF30100010.201.248.347.5960.5
R. Refsnyder LF30000002.167.333.278.6110.0
M. Smith CF00000000.309.392.427.8190.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    W. Merrifield 2B41311000.287.356.427.7838.0
    J. Soler RF30000111.316.419.519.9380.5
    M. Moustakas DH40100004.294.328.546.8741.0
    S. Perez C30000101.268.303.500.8031.0
    J. Jay LF40100012.288.353.340.6922.5
    C. Cuthbert 3B30000020.194.282.301.583-1.0
    R. Goins 3B10000011.245.275.286.560-0.5
    A. Gordon CF40000001.273.327.394.7210.0
    A. Escobar SS20100100.232.297.324.6212.0
    H. Dozier 1B30000012.000.000.000.000-0.5
      BATTING
      • 2B - A. Hechavarria (3), C. Cron (7)
      • RBI - M. Duffy 2 (14)
      BATTING
      • 3B - J. Jay (2)
      • HR - W. Merrifield (4)
      • RBI - W. Merrifield (13)
      BASERUNNING
      • CS - M. Duffy 2 (2)
      FIELDING
      • DP - 2 (Hechavarria-Robertson-Cron; Yarbrough-Ramos-Cron)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Skoglund-Merrifield-Dozier)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      R. Yarbrough (W, 3-2)5.05113413.931.1715.0
      C. Roe (H, 11)1.00000104.801.273.5
      J. Venters (H, 2)0.10000001.590.530.0
      S. Romo (H, 4)1.10000005.171.533.0
      J. Alvarado (H, 11)0.10000002.160.900.0
      A. Colome (S, 7)1.01000104.581.589.5
      PITCHERSIP
      R. Yarbrough (W, 3-2)5.0
      C. Roe (H, 11)1.0
      J. Venters (H, 2)0.1
      S. Romo (H, 4)1.1
      J. Alvarado (H, 11)0.1
      A. Colome (S, 7)1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      E. Skoglund (L, 1-3)7.27220405.581.2412.0
      J. Adam1.11000300.001.153.5
      PITCHERSIP
      E. Skoglund (L, 1-3)7.2
      J. Adam1.1
      PITCHING
      • WP - R. Yarbrough
      • Pitches-Strikes - R. Yarbrough 83-50, C. Roe 10-6, J. Venters 4-2, S. Romo 16-12, J. Alvarado 3-2, A. Colome 12-9
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R. Yarbrough 6-3, C. Roe 1-1, J. Venters 1-0, S. Romo 3-1, A. Colome 1-1
      • Batters Faced - R. Yarbrough 21, C. Roe 3, J. Venters, S. Romo 4, J. Alvarado, A. Colome 4
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - E. Skoglund 94-65, J. Adam 18-14
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - E. Skoglund 13-4
      • Batters Faced - E. Skoglund 28, J. Adam 4
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      TB17-22
      100001000280
      KC13-28
      001000000160
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      A. Hechavarria SS41200010.268.301.341.6423.5
      C. Cron 1B41100012.280.329.487.8162.5
      M. Duffy 3B40320000.322.352.424.7763.0
      W. Ramos C40000022.282.328.427.755-1.0
      D. Robertson 2B40000010.267.421.433.854-0.5
      B. Miller DH30000010.229.306.406.712-0.5
      J. Field CF-LF30100000.273.319.477.7961.0
      C. Gomez RF30100010.201.248.347.5960.5
      R. Refsnyder LF30000002.167.333.278.6110.0
      M. Smith CF00000000.309.392.427.8190.0
      Total322820076-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        W. Merrifield 2B41311000.287.356.427.7838.0
        J. Soler RF30000111.316.419.519.9380.5
        M. Moustakas DH40100004.294.328.546.8741.0
        S. Perez C30000101.268.303.500.8031.0
        J. Jay LF40100012.288.353.340.6922.5
        C. Cuthbert 3B30000020.194.282.301.583-1.0
        R. Goins 3B10000011.245.275.286.560-0.5
        A. Gordon CF40000001.273.327.394.7210.0
        A. Escobar SS20100100.232.297.324.6212.0
        H. Dozier 1B30000012.000.000.000.000-0.5
        Total3116113612-----
          BATTING
          • 2B - A. Hechavarria (3), C. Cron (7)
          • RBI - M. Duffy 2 (14)
          BATTING
          • 3B - J. Jay (2)
          • HR - W. Merrifield (4)
          • RBI - W. Merrifield (13)
          BASERUNNING
          • CS - M. Duffy 2 (2)
          FIELDING
          • DP - 2 (Hechavarria-Robertson-Cron; Yarbrough-Ramos-Cron)
          FIELDING
          • DP - (Skoglund-Merrifield-Dozier)
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          R. Yarbrough (W, 3-2)5.05113413.931.1715.0
          C. Roe (H, 11)1.00000104.801.273.5
          J. Venters (H, 2)0.10000001.590.530.0
          S. Romo (H, 4)1.10000005.171.533.0
          J. Alvarado (H, 11)0.10000002.160.900.0
          A. Colome (S, 7)1.01000104.581.589.5
          Total9.0611361---
          PITCHERSIP
          R. Yarbrough (W, 3-2)5.0
          C. Roe (H, 11)1.0
          J. Venters (H, 2)0.1
          S. Romo (H, 4)1.1
          J. Alvarado (H, 11)0.1
          A. Colome (S, 7)1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          E. Skoglund (L, 1-3)7.27220405.581.2412.0
          J. Adam1.11000300.001.153.5
          Total9.0822070---
          PITCHERSIP
          E. Skoglund (L, 1-3)7.2
          J. Adam1.1
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • WP - R. Yarbrough
          • Pitches-Strikes - R. Yarbrough 83-50, C. Roe 10-6, J. Venters 4-2, S. Romo 16-12, J. Alvarado 3-2, A. Colome 12-9
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R. Yarbrough 6-3, C. Roe 1-1, J. Venters 1-0, S. Romo 3-1, A. Colome 1-1
          • Batters Faced - R. Yarbrough 21, C. Roe 3, J. Venters, S. Romo 4, J. Alvarado, A. Colome 4
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - E. Skoglund 94-65, J. Adam 18-14
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - E. Skoglund 13-4
          • Batters Faced - E. Skoglund 28, J. Adam 4
          • 6TH INNING
            Duffy singled to right, Hechavarria scored21
          • 3RD INNING
            Merrifield homered to left11
          • 1ST INNING
            Duffy singled to right, Cron scored10
          • 9TH INNING
            • J. Adam Pitching:
            • M. Duffy: Foul, Strike looking, Duffy singled to center
            • W. Ramos: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ramos struck out swinging
            • D. Robertson: Strike swinging, Duffy caught stealing, catcher to second, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Robertson struck out looking
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • Alex Colome relieved Jose Alvarado
            • S. Perez: Perez flied out to right
            • J. Jay: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Jay tripled to deep left
            • R. Goins: Strike swinging, Foul, Strike looking, Goins struck out looking
            • A. Gordon: Foul, Gordon grounded out to shortstop
            • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • Ryan Goins at third
            • C. Gomez: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Gomez struck out swinging
            • R. Refsnyder: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Refsnyder grounded out to shortstop
            • A. Hechavarria: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Hechavarria singled to center
            • Jason Adam relieved Eric Skoglund
            • C. Cron: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Cron struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • Mallex Smith in center
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Merrifield flied out to deep center
            • J. Soler: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Soler grounded out to third
            • Jose Alvarado relieved Sergio Romo
            • M. Moustakas: Strike looking, Ball, Moustakas flied out to right
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • E. Skoglund Pitching:
            • D. Robertson: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Robertson grounded out to pitcher
            • B. Miller: Strike looking, Miller flied out to left
            • J. Field: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Field grounded out to pitcher
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Jonny Venters relieved Chaz Roe
            • A. Gordon: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Gordon grounded out to first
            • Sergio Romo relieved Jonny Venters
            • A. Escobar: Strike looking, Escobar grounded out to shortstop
            • H. Dozier: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Dozier grounded out to shortstop
            • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • E. Skoglund Pitching:
            • A. Hechavarria: Hechavarria doubled to left center
            • C. Cron: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Cron flied out to left
            • M. Duffy: Duffy singled to right, Hechavarria scored
            • W. Ramos: Strike swinging, Ball, Duffy picked off at second, pitcher to first to second, Ramos grounded out to pitcher
            • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Chaz Roe relieved Ryan Yarbrough
            • S. Perez: Foul, Perez popped out to second
            • J. Jay: Ball, Jay grounded out to shortstop
            • C. Cuthbert: Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Cuthbert struck out swinging
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • E. Skoglund Pitching:
            • J. Field: Ball, Ball, Foul, Field grounded out to shortstop
            • C. Gomez: Gomez grounded out to pitcher
            • R. Refsnyder: Strike looking, Ball, Refsnyder grounded out to first
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • R. Yarbrough Pitching:
            • A. Escobar: Ball, Escobar singled to left
            • H. Dozier: Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Dozier flied out to left
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Merrifield singled to left, Escobar to second
            • J. Soler: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Soler walked, Escobar to third, Merrifield to second
            • M. Moustakas: Moustakas grounded into double play pitcher to catcher to first, Escobar out at home
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • E. Skoglund Pitching:
            • W. Ramos: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ramos struck out swinging
            • D. Robertson: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Robertson lined out to right
            • B. Miller: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Miller struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • R. Yarbrough Pitching:
            • J. Jay: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Jay struck out looking
            • C. Cuthbert: Cuthbert flied out to center
            • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Gordon grounded out to first
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • E. Skoglund Pitching:
            • A. Hechavarria: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Hechavarria struck out swinging
            • C. Cron: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Cron grounded out to second
            • M. Duffy: Duffy grounded out to second
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • R. Yarbrough Pitching:
            • W. Merrifield: Merrifield homered to left
            • J. Soler: Strike looking, Soler grounded out to third
            • M. Moustakas: Ball, Moustakas singled to left
            • S. Perez: Perez grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Moustakas out at second
            • End of the 3rd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • E. Skoglund Pitching:
            • D. Robertson: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Robertson grounded out to second
            • B. Miller: Ball, Strike looking, Miller grounded out to second
            • J. Field: Foul, Field singled to right
            • C. Gomez: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Gomez singled to center, Field to third
            • R. Refsnyder: Ball, Strike looking, Refsnyder grounded into fielder's choice to third, Gomez out at second
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • R. Yarbrough Pitching:
            • C. Cuthbert: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Cuthbert struck out looking
            • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Gordon grounded out to second
            • A. Escobar: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Escobar walked
            • H. Dozier: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Dozier struck out looking
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • E. Skoglund Pitching:
            • A. Hechavarria: Hechavarria lined out to center
            • C. Cron: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Cron doubled to deep right
            • M. Duffy: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Duffy singled to right, Cron scored
            • W. Ramos: Ramos grounded into double play pitcher to second to first, Duffy out at second
            • Middle of the 1st (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • R. Yarbrough Pitching:
            • W. Merrifield: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Merrifield singled to center
            • J. Soler: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Merrifield to second on wild pitch, Strike swinging, Soler struck out swinging
            • M. Moustakas: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Moustakas lined out to shortstop
            • S. Perez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Perez walked
            • J. Jay: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Jay grounded out to first
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)