New dad Zunino hits 2-run HR to help Rays rally past Royals

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Mike Zunino's first home run for the Tampa Bay Rays was one to remember.

The veteran catcher was reinstated from the paternity list, three days after the birth of his first child, and hit a two-run shot that helped the AL East leaders stop a season-high four-game skid with a 6-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.

''Man, I didn't promise that, but I'll definitely take it,'' Zunino said. ''You know, that was a very special moment in life and my baseball career. It's something I'll never forget.''

Yandy Diaz, Brandon Lowe and Daniel Robertson also drove in runs for the Rays, who scored three times in the seventh to come from behind against Brad Keller (2-2).

It's the ninth time this season the Royals, who have the AL's worst record, have lost after holding a lead in the sixth inning or later.

''That's a pesky offensive outfit over there. They give you good at-bats,'' Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. ''But going into the seventh, we had the lead. We just couldn't hold it.''

Pitching while appealing a five-game suspension for his role in a benches-clearing fracas with the Chicago White Sox last week, Keller held the Rays in check until giving up Robertson's tying RBI grounder and Zunino's homer to straight away center in the seventh.

Zunino, obtained from Seattle in an offseason trade, missed three games while on the paternity list for the birth of his son, Rhett Michael, last Friday.

''That's got to be pretty special. I'm a big fan of Rhett Zunino right now. That's something he's going to be able to talk about for a long time. Awesome,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ''The way it came, and how big a hit it was at the time is even more impactful.''

The Rays, coming off being swept by the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox over the weekend, are 4-5 over their last nine games following an 11-3 start.

''We had a tough weekend and things were not looking good up until the sixth,'' Cash said. ''The guys really did a good job of just grinding out at-bats. We smoked some balls early on but had absolutely nothing to show for it, and that can be pretty demoralizing. ... But they kept at it and keep putting pressure on, and finally something broke.''

Keller allowed five runs and seven hits over 6 1/3 innings in his first outing since hitting Chicago's Tim Anderson with a pitch two innings after the AL's leading hitter emphatically spiked his bat to celebrate a homer, sparking last Wednesday's melee that led to his suspension.

''I felt really good for the first six and I felt good going out for the seventh,'' Keller said, adding that ultimately he left too many pitches over the middle of the plate.

Alex Gordon, Hunter Dozier and Jorge Soler hit solo homers for the Royals, who have lost four straight.

Gordon and Dozier went deep for the second straight game, with Gordon connecting off Rays starter Yonny Chirinos in the first inning and Dozier giving the Royals a 3-1 lead in the sixth. Soler's solo shot snapped a fifth-inning tie.

Wilmer Font (1-0) struck out the only batter he faced to get the win. Emilio Pagan pitched a perfect ninth for his first career save.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: Dozier, who started at designated hitter, was removed from the game in the eighth inning because of right lower back spasms and soreness and is day to day. ... LHP Danny Duffy (left shoulder impingement syndrome) is expected to rejoin the rotation Friday night. ''He's been one of our better starters over the last couple years, and when he's healthy we know what type of pitcher he is,'' Yost said.

Rays: RF Austin Meadows, who's on the injured list with a sprained right thumb, will be shut down for 10 days and hopes he will be ready to return in three to four weeks. ''Let the swelling go down and after that see where we're at,'' Meadows said.

ON THE MEND

Rays LHP Blake Snell (fractured right fourth toe) had a light mound session totaling eight pitches in advance of an upcoming full bullpen. The 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner did not take part in defensive drills with the other pitchers. Snell was hurt moving a decorative stand in the bathroom of his home on April 14.

UP NEXT

Royals RHP Homer Bailey (2-1, 4.30 ERA) will start the middle date of a three-game series. Opener Ryne Stanek (0-0, 1.46) will take the mound first for the Rays.

---

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

Copyright 2019 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
KC7-16
100011000360
TB15-8
10000131X680
  • W: W. Font (1-0)L: B. Keller (2-2)S: E. Pagan (1)
  • HR: KC - A. Gordon (5), J. Soler (6), H. Dozier (7), TB - M. Zunino (1), Y. Diaz (6)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
W. Merrifield 2B30100100.299.330.474.8042.0
A. Mondesi SS40000023.256.286.478.763-1.0
A. Gordon LF41111010.313.392.602.9945.5
H. Dozier DH21211100.324.430.6761.1068.0
a- L. Duda PH-DH10000010.186.308.349.657-0.5
R. O'Hearn 1B40000012.164.311.328.639-0.5
C. Owings 3B40000011.173.244.320.564-0.5
J. Soler RF41211000.227.284.489.7737.0
M. Maldonado C30000101.167.265.217.4811.0
B. Hamilton CF30000011.230.324.262.586-0.5
  • a-struck out for Dozier in the 8th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
B. Lowe 1B40110021.278.326.595.9212.0
T. Pham LF31200111.302.408.465.8735.5
Y. Diaz DH31121003.289.398.579.9777.0
J. Wendle 2B40000002.000.111.000.1110.0
A. Garcia RF31100110.286.337.519.8573.5
K. Kiermaier CF40100011.273.313.506.8200.5
D. Robertson 3B31010012.164.250.197.4471.5
M. Zunino C21121100.208.250.396.6468.0
W. Adames SS31100001.237.293.355.6484.0
    BATTING
    • HR - A. Gordon (5), H. Dozier (7), J. Soler (6)
    • RBI - A. Gordon (21), H. Dozier (12), J. Soler (15)
    • 2-Out RBI - A. Gordon (8)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Mondesi 3 (3), R. O'Hearn, C. Owings
    BATTING
    • 2B - B. Lowe (5), A. Garcia (4)
    • 3B - T. Pham, W. Adames
    • HR - Y. Diaz (6), M. Zunino
    • SF - Y. Diaz (2)
    • RBI - B. Lowe (16), Y. Diaz 2 (11), D. Robertson (7), M. Zunino 2 (9)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - T. Pham, J. Wendle 2 (2)
    FIELDING
    • DP - 2 (Owings-Merrifield-O'Hearn; O'Hearn-Merrifield)
    FIELDING
    • DP - (Adames-Lowe)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    B. Keller (L, 2-2)6.17553313.411.24-0.5
    J. Diekman0.20000205.001.331.0
    S. Barlow1.01110112.701.401.5
    PITCHERSIP
    B. Keller (L, 2-2)6.1
    J. Diekman0.2
    S. Barlow1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    Y. Chirinos6.06331333.550.9112.5
    C. Roe0.20002104.051.95-1.5
    W. Font (W, 1-0)0.10000107.201.507.5
    A. Kolarek (H, 7)1.00000201.861.344.0
    E. Pagan (S, 1)1.00000001.800.2010.0
    PITCHERSIP
    Y. Chirinos6.0
    C. Roe0.2
    W. Font (W, 1-0)0.1
    A. Kolarek (H, 7)1.0
    E. Pagan (S, 1)1.0
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - B. Keller 106-63, J. Diekman 10-8, S. Barlow 22-14
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - B. Keller 7-7, S. Barlow 1-1
    • Batters Faced - B. Keller 27, J. Diekman 2, S. Barlow 4
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - Y. Chirinos 91-58, C. Roe 17-8, W. Font 4-4, A. Kolarek 11-7, E. Pagan 8-6
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Y. Chirinos 5-9, A. Kolarek 1-0, E. Pagan 1-2
    • Batters Faced - Y. Chirinos 24, C. Roe 4, W. Font, A. Kolarek 3, E. Pagan 3
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    KC7-16
    100011000360
    TB15-8
    10000131X680
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    W. Merrifield 2B30100100.299.330.474.8042.0
    A. Mondesi SS40000023.256.286.478.763-1.0
    A. Gordon LF41111010.313.392.602.9945.5
    H. Dozier DH21211100.324.430.6761.1068.0
    a- L. Duda PH-DH10000010.186.308.349.657-0.5
    R. O'Hearn 1B40000012.164.311.328.639-0.5
    C. Owings 3B40000011.173.244.320.564-0.5
    J. Soler RF41211000.227.284.489.7737.0
    M. Maldonado C30000101.167.265.217.4811.0
    B. Hamilton CF30000011.230.324.262.586-0.5
    Total323633378-----
    • a-struck out for Dozier in the 8th
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    B. Lowe 1B40110021.278.326.595.9212.0
    T. Pham LF31200111.302.408.465.8735.5
    Y. Diaz DH31121003.289.398.579.9777.0
    J. Wendle 2B40000002.000.111.000.1110.0
    A. Garcia RF31100110.286.337.519.8573.5
    K. Kiermaier CF40100011.273.313.506.8200.5
    D. Robertson 3B31010012.164.250.197.4471.5
    M. Zunino C21121100.208.250.396.6468.0
    W. Adames SS31100001.237.293.355.6484.0
    Total2968623611-----
      BATTING
      • HR - A. Gordon (5), H. Dozier (7), J. Soler (6)
      • RBI - A. Gordon (21), H. Dozier (12), J. Soler (15)
      • 2-Out RBI - A. Gordon (8)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Mondesi 3 (3), R. O'Hearn, C. Owings
      BATTING
      • 2B - B. Lowe (5), A. Garcia (4)
      • 3B - T. Pham, W. Adames
      • HR - Y. Diaz (6), M. Zunino
      • SF - Y. Diaz (2)
      • RBI - B. Lowe (16), Y. Diaz 2 (11), D. Robertson (7), M. Zunino 2 (9)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - T. Pham, J. Wendle 2 (2)
      FIELDING
      • DP - 2 (Owings-Merrifield-O'Hearn; O'Hearn-Merrifield)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Adames-Lowe)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      B. Keller (L, 2-2)6.17553313.411.24-0.5
      J. Diekman0.20000205.001.331.0
      S. Barlow1.01110112.701.401.5
      Total8.0866362---
      PITCHERSIP
      B. Keller (L, 2-2)6.1
      J. Diekman0.2
      S. Barlow1.0
      Total8.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      Y. Chirinos6.06331333.550.9112.5
      C. Roe0.20002104.051.95-1.5
      W. Font (W, 1-0)0.10000107.201.507.5
      A. Kolarek (H, 7)1.00000201.861.344.0
      E. Pagan (S, 1)1.00000001.800.2010.0
      Total9.0633373---
      PITCHERSIP
      Y. Chirinos6.0
      C. Roe0.2
      W. Font (W, 1-0)0.1
      A. Kolarek (H, 7)1.0
      E. Pagan (S, 1)1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - B. Keller 106-63, J. Diekman 10-8, S. Barlow 22-14
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - B. Keller 7-7, S. Barlow 1-1
      • Batters Faced - B. Keller 27, J. Diekman 2, S. Barlow 4
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - Y. Chirinos 91-58, C. Roe 17-8, W. Font 4-4, A. Kolarek 11-7, E. Pagan 8-6
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Y. Chirinos 5-9, A. Kolarek 1-0, E. Pagan 1-2
      • Batters Faced - Y. Chirinos 24, C. Roe 4, W. Font, A. Kolarek 3, E. Pagan 3
      • 8TH INNING
        Diaz homered to right36
      • 7TH INNING
        Zunino homered to center, Robertson scored35
        Robertson reached on fielder's choice to second, Garcia scored, Kiermaier out at second33
      • 6TH INNING
        Lowe doubled to deep right center, Adames scored32
        Dozier homered to left31
      • 5TH INNING
        Soler homered to left center21
      • 1ST INNING
        Diaz hit sacrifice fly to right, Pham scored11
        Gordon homered to right10
      • 9TH INNING
        • Emilio Pagan relieved Adam Kolarek
        • C. Owings: Owings popped out to second
        • J. Soler: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Soler flied out to center
        • M. Maldonado: Strike swinging, Maldonado grounded out to third
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Adam Kolarek relieved Wilmer Font
        • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Gordon struck out swinging
        • Lucas Duda hit for Hunter Dozier
        • L. Duda: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Duda struck out looking
        • R. O'Hearn: Ball, O'Hearn grounded out to pitcher
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Scott Barlow relieved Jake Diekman
        • Y. Diaz: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Diaz homered to right
        • J. Wendle: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Wendle flied out to left
        • A. Garcia: Strike (foul tip), Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Garcia struck out looking
        • K. Kiermaier: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Kiermaier grounded out to first
        • End of the 8th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Chaz Roe relieved Yonny Chirinos
        • J. Soler: Foul, Ball, Soler fouled out to first
        • M. Maldonado: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Maldonado walked
        • B. Hamilton: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Hamilton struck out swinging
        • W. Merrifield: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Merrifield walked, Maldonado to second
        • Wilmer Font relieved Chaz Roe
        • A. Mondesi: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Mondesi struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • B. Keller Pitching:
        • A. Garcia: Garcia doubled to left center
        • K. Kiermaier: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Kiermaier reached on an infield single to shortstop, Garcia to third
        • D. Robertson: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Robertson reached on fielder's choice to second, Garcia scored, Kiermaier out at second
        • M. Zunino: Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Zunino homered to center, Robertson scored
        • W. Adames: Ball, Ball, Adames tripled to deep right
        • Jake Diekman relieved Brad Keller
        • B. Lowe: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Lowe struck out swinging
        • T. Pham: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Pham struck out swinging
        • End of the 7th (3 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
        • A. Gordon: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Gordon grounded out to shortstop
        • H. Dozier: Ball, Dozier homered to left
        • R. O'Hearn: Ball, O'Hearn flied out to center
        • C. Owings: Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Owings struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • B. Keller Pitching:
        • M. Zunino: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Zunino walked
        • W. Adames: Foul, Strike swinging, Adames reached on fielder's choice to third, Zunino out at second
        • B. Lowe: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Lowe doubled to deep right center, Adames scored
        • T. Pham: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Pham walked
        • Y. Diaz: Strike swinging, Ball, Diaz lined out to center
        • J. Wendle: Ball, Wendle popped out to shortstop
        • End of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
        • J. Soler: Soler homered to left center
        • M. Maldonado: Maldonado lined out to shortstop
        • B. Hamilton: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Hamilton flied out to center
        • W. Merrifield: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Merrifield singled to center
        • A. Mondesi: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Mondesi flied out to center
        • Middle of the 5th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • B. Keller Pitching:
        • A. Garcia: Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Garcia lined out to center
        • K. Kiermaier: Strike looking, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Kiermaier struck out swinging
        • D. Robertson: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Robertson struck out swinging
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
        • A. Gordon: Ball, Gordon lined out to shortstop
        • H. Dozier: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Dozier singled to center
        • R. O'Hearn: Pickoff attempt, Foul, O'Hearn reached on fielder's choice to pitcher, Dozier out at second
        • C. Owings: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Owings grounded out to catcher
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • B. Keller Pitching:
        • T. Pham: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Pham singled to left
        • Y. Diaz: Foul, Ball, Diaz grounded out to second, Pham out at second
        • J. Wendle: Wendle grounded out to pitcher
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
        • B. Hamilton: Hamilton lined out to right
        • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Merrifield grounded out to third
        • A. Mondesi: Mondesi flied out to deep right
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • B. Keller Pitching:
        • M. Zunino: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Zunino grounded out to shortstop
        • W. Adames: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Adames grounded out to shortstop
        • B. Lowe: Lowe popped out to second
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
        • C. Owings: Strike looking, Owings popped out to pitcher
        • J. Soler: Foul, Foul, Soler singled to left
        • M. Maldonado: Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Maldonado grounded out to shortstop, Soler out at second
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • B. Keller Pitching:
        • A. Garcia: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Garcia walked
        • K. Kiermaier: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Kiermaier lined out to left
        • D. Robertson: Foul, Robertson grounded out to second, Garcia out at second
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
        • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Merrifield fouled out to third
        • A. Mondesi: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Mondesi struck out swinging
        • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Gordon homered to right
        • H. Dozier: Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Dozier walked
        • R. O'Hearn: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, O'Hearn struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • B. Keller Pitching:
        • B. Lowe: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Lowe struck out looking
        • T. Pham: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Pham tripled to deep right
        • Y. Diaz: Ball, Diaz hit sacrifice fly to right, Pham scored
        • J. Wendle: Wendle lined out to right
        • End of the 1st (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)