Rays beat Royals 6-3 for 4th straight win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) It took Brandon Lowe 20 at-bats to get his first major league hit last week, so the Tampa Bay rookie wasn't about to let an 0-for-9 stretch bother him.

Lowe came through with a two-out, two-run single in the first inning Wednesday night, and the Rays went on to a 6-3 win over the Kansas City Royals.

''You get up to the big leagues and you feel that you have to go out and prove yourself,'' said Lowe, one of six Rays to produce two hits each in the club's fourth straight win. ''I've been really stressing, trying to prove I belong here. Yesterday I was able to take a step back and relax and it worked out for the better.''

Lowe is hitting .135 after 11 games, but he feels the worst might be over.

''All you want to be able to do is help the team win,'' he said. ''I was searching, racking my brain and stressing out. Today I came in a little early, got in the cage and told myself to relax and don't stress, trust your skills.''

Lowe and Mallex Smith drove in two runs each, and the Rays moved five games over .500 for the first time since July 2017. They had 14 hits, none of them with two outs.

''A lot of good offensive numbers tonight that we kind of needed,'' manager Kevin Cash said.

Lowe's two-run single came off Jakob Junis after hits by Michael Perez and Carlos Gomez.

Junis (6-12) allowed four runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out five. Only two of the runs were earned.

''He's been consistently sharp, especially the last four outings,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''I expect him to go out and make starts like this, give us a chance to win like he did.''

Whit Merrifield led off the fourth with his ninth home run, the Royals' first hit of the game, extending his hitting streak to 11 games.

Hunter Dozier added a two-run homer in the eighth, the second of the game off Yonny Chirinos. Dozier's sixth homer of the season came on his 27th birthday.

Ryan O'Hearn had his first first multi-hit game for the Royals with three of their seven hits, but Rosell Herrera was thrown out at the plate for the game's final out after O'Hearn's third hit.

Rays opener Ryne Stanek pitched two hitless innings before Chirinos (2-5) took over. Chirinos gave up three runs on four hits while striking out four in five innings.

Sergio Romo pitched the ninth for his 18th save in 25 opportunities.

The loss clinched a sixth straight series loss for the Royals, who have lost 16 of 20 games overall and all six games against Tampa Bay this season.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

Kevin Kiermaier, who had two hits and a walk, is hitting .357 in his last eight games, noteworthy mostly because he was batting .175 before that. ''I've been pressing this whole year, trying to make up for all my lost time and all my (lack of) performance in one swing,'' the Rays center fielder said. ''I've been trying to kill the ball all year and hit the ball 700 feet, and that's how I get myself out. You learn from things like this - being hurt and not playing the way you want to. It's a learning experience and now I'm instituting those experiences into my approach.''

GETTING A BREAK

Rays rookie 1B Jake Bauers, mired in a 1-for-33 slide, was out of the lineup. ''He's been pressing, there's no denying it,'' Cash said. ''He's frustrated with himself.'' Bauers entered Wednesday hitting .209 with nine homers and 34 RBIs in 66 games.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: OF Jorge Bonifacio, scratched from Tuesday's lineup with lower back stiffness, was on the bench again Wednesday, but available, Yost said.

Rays: OF Tommy Pham said he hopes to be back Friday after dislocating his right ring finger on a head-first dive back to first base on Tuesday. ''It feels fine other than the swelling,'' Pham said.

UP NEXT

Right-hander Tyler Glasnow (1-3, 4.10 ERA) will make his fifth start for the Rays in the season series finale Thursday night. Glasnow took his first loss Saturday at Boston, going 6 2/3 innings after a second inning in which he gave up three walks and four runs. Left-hander Danny Duffy (7-11, 4.90) will start for Kansas City. He hasn't started since Aug. 11 because of a left shoulder impingement.

---

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
KC38-89
000100020371
TB66-61
02000202X6140
  • W: Y. Chirinos (2-5)L: J. Junis (6-12)S: S. Romo (18)
  • HR: KC - W. Merrifield (9), H. Dozier (6)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
W. Merrifield 2B41111021.302.371.431.8015.0
A. Gordon LF40000011.235.318.344.662-0.5
S. Perez C40000000.233.270.427.6970.0
L. Duda 1B40000000.234.305.392.6960.0
R. Herrera RF40100010.239.282.318.6010.5
R. O'Hearn DH41300010.229.302.563.8644.5
H. Dozier 3B31121021.215.272.339.6116.0
B. Phillips CF30000011.195.267.329.596-0.5
A. Escobar SS30100000.213.263.296.5592.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    M. Smith LF51220001.304.374.425.8005.0
    M. Duffy 3B40210110.293.350.368.7195.5
    J. Choi DH50200004.255.331.464.7943.0
    C. Cron 1B40000023.249.315.477.793-1.0
    K. Kiermaier CF30200110.196.261.314.5753.5
    W. Adames SS41100013.253.308.399.7070.5
    M. Perez C42100002.288.317.390.7073.0
    C. Gomez RF32210011.219.312.354.6667.5
    B. Lowe 2B40220011.135.238.162.4003.5
      BATTING
      • 2B - R. O'Hearn, A. Escobar (18)
      • HR - W. Merrifield (9), H. Dozier (6)
      • RBI - W. Merrifield (44), H. Dozier 2 (17)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Gordon, R. O'Hearn, B. Phillips
      BATTING
      • 2B - J. Choi (8), K. Kiermaier (9), C. Gomez (15)
      • SH - C. Gomez (2)
      • RBI - M. Smith 2 (31), M. Duffy (33), C. Gomez (28), B. Lowe 2 (4)
      • 2-Out RBI - M. Smith 2 (14), M. Duffy (10), B. Lowe 2 (4)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Smith, J. Choi 4 (4), C. Cron 3 (3), C. Gomez
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - M. Duffy (9), C. Gomez (10)
      • CS - W. Adames (3)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Escobar-Merrifield-Duda)
      • E - W. Merrifield (5)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Junis (L, 6-12)5.29420504.701.331.5
      T. Hill0.02000004.911.36-2.0
      J. Hammel2.13222206.031.630.0
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Junis (L, 6-12)5.2
      T. Hill0.0
      J. Hammel2.1
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      R. Stanek2.00000202.581.057.0
      Y. Chirinos (W, 2-5)5.04330424.081.2217.0
      A. Kolarek (H, 5)0.10000004.821.390.0
      C. Roe (H, 23)0.11000103.231.03-0.5
      J. Alvarado (H, 25)0.10000102.381.170.5
      S. Romo (S, 18)1.02000003.361.228.0
      PITCHERSIP
      R. Stanek2.0
      Y. Chirinos (W, 2-5)5.0
      A. Kolarek (H, 5)0.1
      C. Roe (H, 23)0.1
      J. Alvarado (H, 25)0.1
      S. Romo (S, 18)1.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Junis 88-57, T. Hill 8-7, J. Hammel 43-25
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Junis 7-5, J. Hammel 3-1
      • Batters Faced - J. Junis 26, T. Hill 2, J. Hammel 11
      PITCHING
      • WP - Y. Chirinos (5)
      • Pitches-Strikes - R. Stanek 22-15, Y. Chirinos 82-58, A. Kolarek 3-1, C. Roe 6-4, J. Alvarado 4-3, S. Romo 16-9
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Y. Chirinos 4-7, A. Kolarek 1-0, S. Romo 1-1
      • Batters Faced - R. Stanek 6, Y. Chirinos 19, A. Kolarek, C. Roe 2, J. Alvarado, S. Romo 4
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      KC38-89
      000100020371
      TB66-61
      02000202X6140
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      W. Merrifield 2B41111021.302.371.431.8015.0
      A. Gordon LF40000011.235.318.344.662-0.5
      S. Perez C40000000.233.270.427.6970.0
      L. Duda 1B40000000.234.305.392.6960.0
      R. Herrera RF40100010.239.282.318.6010.5
      R. O'Hearn DH41300010.229.302.563.8644.5
      H. Dozier 3B31121021.215.272.339.6116.0
      B. Phillips CF30000011.195.267.329.596-0.5
      A. Escobar SS30100000.213.263.296.5592.0
      Total333732084-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        M. Smith LF51220001.304.374.425.8005.0
        M. Duffy 3B40210110.293.350.368.7195.5
        J. Choi DH50200004.255.331.464.7943.0
        C. Cron 1B40000023.249.315.477.793-1.0
        K. Kiermaier CF30200110.196.261.314.5753.5
        W. Adames SS41100013.253.308.399.7070.5
        M. Perez C42100002.288.317.390.7073.0
        C. Gomez RF32210011.219.312.354.6667.5
        B. Lowe 2B40220011.135.238.162.4003.5
        Total36614602715-----
        HITTERSAB
        M. Smith LF5
        M. Duffy 3B4
        J. Choi DH5
        C. Cron 1B4
        K. Kiermaier CF3
        W. Adames SS4
        M. Perez C4
        C. Gomez RF3
        B. Lowe 2B4
        Total36
          BATTING
          • 2B - R. O'Hearn, A. Escobar (18)
          • HR - W. Merrifield (9), H. Dozier (6)
          • RBI - W. Merrifield (44), H. Dozier 2 (17)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Gordon, R. O'Hearn, B. Phillips
          BATTING
          • 2B - J. Choi (8), K. Kiermaier (9), C. Gomez (15)
          • SH - C. Gomez (2)
          • RBI - M. Smith 2 (31), M. Duffy (33), C. Gomez (28), B. Lowe 2 (4)
          • 2-Out RBI - M. Smith 2 (14), M. Duffy (10), B. Lowe 2 (4)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - M. Smith, J. Choi 4 (4), C. Cron 3 (3), C. Gomez
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - M. Duffy (9), C. Gomez (10)
          • CS - W. Adames (3)
          FIELDING
          • DP - (Escobar-Merrifield-Duda)
          • E - W. Merrifield (5)
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          J. Junis (L, 6-12)5.29420504.701.331.5
          T. Hill0.02000004.911.36-2.0
          J. Hammel2.13222206.031.630.0
          Total8.01464270---
          PITCHERSIP
          J. Junis (L, 6-12)5.2
          T. Hill0.0
          J. Hammel2.1
          Total8.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          R. Stanek2.00000202.581.057.0
          Y. Chirinos (W, 2-5)5.04330424.081.2217.0
          A. Kolarek (H, 5)0.10000004.821.390.0
          C. Roe (H, 23)0.11000103.231.03-0.5
          J. Alvarado (H, 25)0.10000102.381.170.5
          S. Romo (S, 18)1.02000003.361.228.0
          Total9.0733082---
          PITCHERSIP
          R. Stanek2.0
          Y. Chirinos (W, 2-5)5.0
          A. Kolarek (H, 5)0.1
          C. Roe (H, 23)0.1
          J. Alvarado (H, 25)0.1
          S. Romo (S, 18)1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - J. Junis 88-57, T. Hill 8-7, J. Hammel 43-25
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Junis 7-5, J. Hammel 3-1
          • Batters Faced - J. Junis 26, T. Hill 2, J. Hammel 11
          PITCHING
          • WP - Y. Chirinos (5)
          • Pitches-Strikes - R. Stanek 22-15, Y. Chirinos 82-58, A. Kolarek 3-1, C. Roe 6-4, J. Alvarado 4-3, S. Romo 16-9
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Y. Chirinos 4-7, A. Kolarek 1-0, S. Romo 1-1
          • Batters Faced - R. Stanek 6, Y. Chirinos 19, A. Kolarek, C. Roe 2, J. Alvarado, S. Romo 4
          • 8TH INNING
            Duffy singled to right center, Smith scored36
            Smith singled to center, Gomez scored, Smith to second35
            Dozier homered to center, O'Hearn scored34
          • 6TH INNING
            Smith singled to left, Perez scored, Lowe to second14
            Gomez hit sacrifice bunt to catcher, Adames scored, Perez to second13
          • 4TH INNING
            Merrifield homered to left12
          • 2ND INNING
            Lowe singled to center, Perez and Gomez scored02
          • 9TH INNING
            • Sergio Romo relieved Jose Alvarado
            • S. Perez: Perez flied out to shallow right
            • L. Duda: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Duda grounded out to pitcher
            • R. Herrera: Ball, Foul, Ball, Herrera singled to right
            • R. O'Hearn: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, O'Hearn reached on an infield single to shortstop, Herrera out at home
            • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
            • R. O'Hearn: Ball, Ball, O'Hearn singled to right center
            • H. Dozier: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Dozier homered to center, O'Hearn scored
            • Adam Kolarek relieved Yonny Chirinos
            • B. Phillips: Ball, Ball, Phillips grounded out to pitcher
            • Chaz Roe relieved Adam Kolarek
            • A. Escobar: Escobar doubled to deep left
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Merrifield struck out looking
            • Jose Alvarado relieved Chaz Roe
            • A. Gordon: Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Gordon struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 8th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Hammel Pitching:
            • M. Perez: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Perez lined out to right
            • C. Gomez: Ball, Foul, Gomez singled to center
            • B. Lowe: Strike looking, Gomez stole second, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Lowe struck out swinging
            • M. Smith: Ball, Smith singled to center, Gomez scored, Smith to second
            • M. Duffy: Duffy singled to right center, Smith scored
            • J. Choi: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Choi grounded out to third
            • End of the 8th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
            • S. Perez: Ball, Perez grounded out to shortstop
            • L. Duda: Strike looking, Duda popped out to third
            • R. Herrera: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Herrera flied out to deep center
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Hammel Pitching:
            • C. Cron: Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Cron struck out swinging
            • K. Kiermaier: Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Kiermaier walked
            • W. Adames: Strike swinging, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Adames reached on fielder's choice to second, Kiermaier out at second
            • M. Perez: Ball (pitchout), Adames caught stealing, catcher to shortstop
            • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
            • A. Escobar: Escobar grounded out to shortstop
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Merrifield struck out swinging
            • A. Gordon: Gordon lined out to center
            • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Junis Pitching:
            • K. Kiermaier: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Kiermaier struck out swinging
            • W. Adames: Ball, Ball, Adames singled to center
            • M. Perez: Pickoff attempt, Strike swinging, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Perez safe at first on 2nd baseman Merrifield fielding error, Adames to third
            • C. Gomez: Foul, Gomez hit sacrifice bunt to catcher, Adames scored, Perez to second
            • Tim Hill relieved Jake Junis
            • B. Lowe: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Lowe singled to right, Perez to third
            • M. Smith: Strike looking, Foul, Smith singled to left, Perez scored, Lowe to second
            • Jason Hammel relieved Tim Hill
            • M. Duffy: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Duffy walked, Lowe to third, Smith to second
            • J. Choi: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Choi grounded out to second
            • End of the 6th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 1 Error)
          • 5TH INNING
            • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
            • R. Herrera: Herrera lined out to shortstop
            • R. O'Hearn: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, O'Hearn doubled to deep right center
            • H. Dozier: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, O'Hearn to third on wild pitch, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Dozier struck out swinging
            • B. Phillips: Strike swinging, Ball, Phillips grounded out to first
            • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Junis Pitching:
            • B. Lowe: Ball, Strike swinging, Lowe grounded out to second
            • M. Smith: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Smith fouled out to left
            • M. Duffy: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Duffy singled to left center
            • J. Choi: Foul, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Duffy stole second, Foul, Ball, Foul, Choi reached on an infield single to first, Duffy to third
            • C. Cron: Cron popped out to first
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Merrifield homered to left
            • A. Gordon: Foul, Ball, Foul, Gordon lined out to right
            • S. Perez: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Perez lined out to shortstop
            • L. Duda: Ball, Duda flied out to left
            • Middle of the 4th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • J. Junis Pitching:
            • K. Kiermaier: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Kiermaier doubled to right center
            • W. Adames: Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Adames struck out swinging
            • M. Perez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Perez grounded out to first, Kiermaier to third
            • C. Gomez: Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Gomez struck out swinging
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • Yonny Chirinos relieved Ryne Stanek
            • H. Dozier: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Dozier struck out swinging
            • B. Phillips: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Phillips struck out looking
            • A. Escobar: Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Escobar grounded out to third
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Junis Pitching:
            • M. Duffy: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Duffy struck out swinging
            • J. Choi: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Choi grounded out to first
            • C. Cron: Ball, Cron lined out to shortstop
            • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 2ND INNING
            • R. Stanek Pitching:
            • L. Duda: Duda fouled out to third
            • R. Herrera: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Herrera struck out swinging
            • R. O'Hearn: Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, O'Hearn struck out swinging
            • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Junis Pitching:
            • K. Kiermaier: Kiermaier singled to center
            • W. Adames: Adames grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Kiermaier out at second
            • M. Perez: Ball, Perez singled to center
            • C. Gomez: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Gomez doubled to deep left, Perez to third
            • B. Lowe: Ball, Lowe singled to center, Perez and Gomez scored
            • M. Smith: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Smith grounded out to shortstop
            • End of the 2nd (2 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • R. Stanek Pitching:
            • W. Merrifield: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Merrifield flied out to right
            • A. Gordon: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Gordon flied out to right
            • S. Perez: Perez flied out to center
            • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • J. Junis Pitching:
            • M. Smith: Strike looking, Ball, Smith popped out to second
            • M. Duffy: Foul, Ball, Duffy lined out to second
            • J. Choi: Ball, Choi doubled to deep right center
            • C. Cron: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Cron struck out swinging
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)