Rays score early, pile on late in 8-5 win over Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Tampa Bay Rays have successfully started a Cy Young Award winner and relievers, generated offense from everyone in their hobbled lineup, and watched as their bullpen has preserved far more leads than they've squandered.

No wonder they have the best record in the majors as the end of April nears.

''You've got to be happy the way this club has come out of the gate strong,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said after an 8-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night. ''We felt like we were balanced and if you had a one-month review, you'd be happy with what you see.''

Tommy Pham, Yandy Diaz and Ji-Man Choi each drove in a pair of runs against Kansas City, helping the Rays (19-9) win for the fifth time in six games. They also improved to 10-2 on the road.

''This is just everyone doing their best to play well. Everyone is fighting to win every single game,'' Choi said through a translator. ''Everyone is doing well, so it's fun.''

Yonny Chirinos went 5 2/3 innings in relief of effective opener Ryne Stanek, allowing two earned runs on two hits and a walk. Chirinos improved to 4-0 after going 0-3 last season.

The Rays did most of their damage against Brad Keller (2-3), who struggled in his return from a five-game suspension for his role in a fracas with the Chicago White Sox. The big right-hander allowed five runs on six hits and three walks over five innings.

''From the first inning on he was really pulling the ball,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''He was going on the seventh day, so a little bit rusty, but just fought command the whole time. But to his credit, he never stopped competing. He never gave in. He just kept battling, kept grinding.''

The Royals have lost 11 of 12 against Tampa Bay after going 29-10 in the previous 39 matchups.

''Definitely didn't feel my best out there,'' Keller said. ''Didn't have my best stuff. Just went out there and tried to battle as much as possible and get as deep in the game. I was yanking a lot of pitches. Just tried to settle down and go after guys.''

The Rays jumped on Keller in the first when Choi drew a two-out walk, went to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a balk. When he scored on Diaz's base hit, Tampa Bay had outscored its opponents 29-4 in the first inning this season.

The Rays added three more in the second after Kevin Kiermaier was hit by a pitch, beginning a parade of batters to the plate. Perez delivered an RBI double and Pham provided the big blow with a two-run triple, staking the Rays' pitching staff - with the best ERA in baseball - to a 4-0 lead.

They nearly gave it right back in the third.

The Royals took advantage of an error by Rays shortstop Daniel Robertson and a walk to Whit Merrifield when Adalberto Mondesi tripled to right. He scored on Alex Gordon's sacrifice fly.

Jorge Soler homered in the seventh for Kansas City, but the Rays added a run in the eighth and Choi's two-run double off Wily Peralta in the ninth to put the game away.

FRIENDS IN LOWE PLACES

Rays DH Nate Lowe doubled in the eighth for his first big league hit. The slugger roared through three minor league levels last season and was hitting .300 at Triple-A Durham before his call-up on Monday. ''His parents were sitting close by us,'' Cash said. ''Special moment for him.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rays: INF Matt Duffy took some at-bats in extended spring training as he rehabs from a sore back and ailing hamstring. He hopes to return in a couple of weeks. ''Progress is being made,'' Cash said.

Royals: OF Billy Hamilton got another day off after leaving Saturday night's game against the Angels with a sore hamstring. ''That's one of his main strengths,'' Yost said of Hamilton's speed. ''I'm going to wait until he's really good, then I'm going to give him one more day.''

UP NEXT

AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell (2-2, 2.54 ERA) makes his second start after returning from a toe injury on Tuesday night against the Royals. He was on a 65-pitch limit and got knocked around his last time out. Jakob Junis (2-2, 5.57) will be on the mound for Kansas City.

---

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

123456789RHE
TB19-9
1300100128111
KC9-20
003000101550
  • W: Y. Chirinos (4-0)L: B. Keller (2-3)
  • HR: KC - J. Soler (7)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
B. Lowe 2B43100112.289.350.567.9176.5
T. Pham LF41120101.294.416.461.8777.0
J. Choi 1B41220101.299.400.463.8637.0
Y. Diaz 3B40220100.298.395.596.9905.0
N. Lowe DH41100105.250.400.500.9004.0
A. Garcia RF50100024.247.298.443.7410.0
K. Kiermaier CF31110000.266.320.457.7784.0
D. Robertson SS40100011.179.273.256.5290.5
M. Perez C41110000.257.366.371.7374.0
R. Stanek P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
Y. Chirinos P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
D. Castillo P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
C. Roe P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    W. Merrifield 2B31000120.288.346.483.8291.0
    A. Mondesi SS41220000.287.312.504.8169.0
    A. Gordon LF30010011.301.395.544.9390.5
    H. Dozier DH31100100.349.447.6861.1333.0
    R. O'Hearn 1B40000022.167.283.333.616-1.0
    J. Soler RF41111032.227.283.482.7654.5
    K. Gutierrez 3B40110001.364.417.364.7802.0
    C. Owings CF40000021.156.221.271.492-1.0
    M. Maldonado C31000000.176.256.257.5131.0
    B. Keller P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    B. Boxberger P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    S. Barlow P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    J. Diekman P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
    W. Peralta P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      BATTING
      • 2B - J. Choi (6), N. Lowe, M. Perez (4)
      • 3B - T. Pham (2)
      • RBI - T. Pham 2 (12), J. Choi 2 (8), Y. Diaz 2 (18), K. Kiermaier (11), M. Perez (2)
      • 2-Out RBI - T. Pham 2 (5), Y. Diaz (6), K. Kiermaier (5)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Choi, N. Lowe, A. Garcia 4 (4), D. Robertson
      BATTING
      • 3B - A. Mondesi (5)
      • HR - J. Soler (7)
      • SF - A. Gordon (3)
      • RBI - A. Mondesi 2 (24), A. Gordon (22), J. Soler (17), K. Gutierrez (3)
      • 2-Out RBI - K. Gutierrez
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Gordon, K. Gutierrez, C. Owings
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - B. Lowe (3)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - A. Mondesi (8)
      FIELDING
      • E - D. Robertson (4)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Mondesi-Merrifield-O'Hearn)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      R. Stanek1.11000101.200.872.5
      Y. Chirinos (W, 4-0)5.22421413.480.8419.0
      D. Castillo (H, 7)1.01000202.351.113.0
      C. Roe1.01111304.152.081.5
      PITCHERSIP
      R. Stanek1.1
      Y. Chirinos (W, 4-0)5.2
      D. Castillo (H, 7)1.0
      C. Roe1.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      B. Keller (L, 2-3)5.06553104.071.31-3.5
      B. Boxberger2.00000207.301.787.0
      S. Barlow0.21110102.921.46-1.5
      J. Diekman0.11000003.751.08-1.0
      W. Peralta1.03222006.231.69-4.0
      PITCHERSIP
      B. Keller (L, 2-3)5.0
      B. Boxberger2.0
      S. Barlow0.2
      J. Diekman0.1
      W. Peralta1.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - R. Stanek 15-10, Y. Chirinos 73-46, D. Castillo 14-10, C. Roe 21-12
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R. Stanek 1-2, Y. Chirinos 6-8, D. Castillo 1-0
      • Batters Faced - R. Stanek 5, Y. Chirinos 21, D. Castillo 4, C. Roe 5
      PITCHING
      • WP - B. Keller (2)
      • HBP - B. Keller (4)
      • Pitches-Strikes - B. Keller 92-50, B. Boxberger 17-13, S. Barlow 15-8, J. Diekman 4-4, W. Peralta 29-14
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - B. Keller 6-7, B. Boxberger 1-3, J. Diekman 1-0
      • Batters Faced - B. Keller 24, B. Boxberger 6, S. Barlow 3, J. Diekman 2, W. Peralta 7
      • Balks - B. Keller
      PLAYERS OF THE GAME
      123456789RHE
      TB19-9
      1300100128111
      KC9-20
      003000101550
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      B. Lowe 2B43100112.289.350.567.9176.5
      T. Pham LF41120101.294.416.461.8777.0
      J. Choi 1B41220101.299.400.463.8637.0
      Y. Diaz 3B40220100.298.395.596.9905.0
      N. Lowe DH41100105.250.400.500.9004.0
      A. Garcia RF50100024.247.298.443.7410.0
      K. Kiermaier CF31110000.266.320.457.7784.0
      D. Robertson SS40100011.179.273.256.5290.5
      M. Perez C41110000.257.366.371.7374.0
      R. Stanek P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      Y. Chirinos P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      D. Castillo P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      C. Roe P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
      Total36811805414-----
        HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
        W. Merrifield 2B31000120.288.346.483.8291.0
        A. Mondesi SS41220000.287.312.504.8169.0
        A. Gordon LF30010011.301.395.544.9390.5
        H. Dozier DH31100100.349.447.6861.1333.0
        R. O'Hearn 1B40000022.167.283.333.616-1.0
        J. Soler RF41111032.227.283.482.7654.5
        K. Gutierrez 3B40110001.364.417.364.7802.0
        C. Owings CF40000021.156.221.271.492-1.0
        M. Maldonado C31000000.176.256.257.5131.0
        B. Keller P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        B. Boxberger P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        S. Barlow P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        J. Diekman P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        W. Peralta P0000-000.000.000.000.000-
        Total3255512107-----
          BATTING
          • 2B - J. Choi (6), N. Lowe, M. Perez (4)
          • 3B - T. Pham (2)
          • RBI - T. Pham 2 (12), J. Choi 2 (8), Y. Diaz 2 (18), K. Kiermaier (11), M. Perez (2)
          • 2-Out RBI - T. Pham 2 (5), Y. Diaz (6), K. Kiermaier (5)
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Choi, N. Lowe, A. Garcia 4 (4), D. Robertson
          BATTING
          • 3B - A. Mondesi (5)
          • HR - J. Soler (7)
          • SF - A. Gordon (3)
          • RBI - A. Mondesi 2 (24), A. Gordon (22), J. Soler (17), K. Gutierrez (3)
          • 2-Out RBI - K. Gutierrez
          • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - A. Gordon, K. Gutierrez, C. Owings
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - B. Lowe (3)
          BASERUNNING
          • SB - A. Mondesi (8)
          FIELDING
          • E - D. Robertson (4)
          FIELDING
          • DP - (Mondesi-Merrifield-O'Hearn)
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          R. Stanek1.11000101.200.872.5
          Y. Chirinos (W, 4-0)5.22421413.480.8419.0
          D. Castillo (H, 7)1.01000202.351.113.0
          C. Roe1.01111304.152.081.5
          Total9.05532101---
          PITCHERSIP
          R. Stanek1.1
          Y. Chirinos (W, 4-0)5.2
          D. Castillo (H, 7)1.0
          C. Roe1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
          B. Keller (L, 2-3)5.06553104.071.31-3.5
          B. Boxberger2.00000207.301.787.0
          S. Barlow0.21110102.921.46-1.5
          J. Diekman0.11000003.751.08-1.0
          W. Peralta1.03222006.231.69-4.0
          Total9.01188540---
          PITCHERSIP
          B. Keller (L, 2-3)5.0
          B. Boxberger2.0
          S. Barlow0.2
          J. Diekman0.1
          W. Peralta1.0
          Total9.0
          PITCHING
          • Pitches-Strikes - R. Stanek 15-10, Y. Chirinos 73-46, D. Castillo 14-10, C. Roe 21-12
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - R. Stanek 1-2, Y. Chirinos 6-8, D. Castillo 1-0
          • Batters Faced - R. Stanek 5, Y. Chirinos 21, D. Castillo 4, C. Roe 5
          PITCHING
          • WP - B. Keller (2)
          • HBP - B. Keller (4)
          • Pitches-Strikes - B. Keller 92-50, B. Boxberger 17-13, S. Barlow 15-8, J. Diekman 4-4, W. Peralta 29-14
          • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - B. Keller 6-7, B. Boxberger 1-3, J. Diekman 1-0
          • Batters Faced - B. Keller 24, B. Boxberger 6, S. Barlow 3, J. Diekman 2, W. Peralta 7
          • Balks - B. Keller
          • 9TH INNING
            Gutierrez singled to center, Dozier scored85
            Choi doubled to deep right center, Lowe and Pham scored84
          • 8TH INNING
            Kiermaier singled to center, Lowe scored, Kiermaier to second64
          • 7TH INNING
            Soler homered to left center54
          • 5TH INNING
            Diaz singled to center, Lowe scored, Choi to second53
          • 3RD INNING
            Gordon hit sacrifice fly to center, Mondesi scored43
            Mondesi tripled to deep right, Maldonado and Merrifield scored42
          • 2ND INNING
            Pham tripled to deep right center, Perez and Lowe scored40
            Perez doubled to deep center, Kiermaier scored, Robertson to third20
          • 1ST INNING
            Diaz singled to right, Choi scored10
          • 9TH INNING
            • Wily Peralta relieved Jake Diekman
            • M. Perez: Ball, Perez flied out to center
            • B. Lowe: Lowe singled to right
            • T. Pham: Ball, Ball, Lowe stole second, Ball, Ball, Pham walked
            • J. Choi: Ball, Choi doubled to deep right center, Lowe and Pham scored
            • Y. Diaz: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Diaz walked
            • N. Lowe: Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Lowe flied out to shallow left
            • A. Garcia: Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Garcia reached on an infield single to shortstop, Choi to third, Diaz out at second
            • Middle of the 9th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Chaz Roe relieved Diego Castillo
            • H. Dozier: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Dozier walked
            • R. O'Hearn: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike looking, O'Hearn struck out looking
            • J. Soler: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Soler struck out swinging
            • K. Gutierrez: Ball, Dozier to second on fielder's indifference, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Gutierrez singled to center, Dozier scored
            • C. Owings: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul tip, Owings struck out on foul tip
            • End of the 9th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 8TH INNING
            • Scott Barlow relieved Brad Boxberger
            • Y. Diaz: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Diaz lined out to center
            • N. Lowe: Ball, Ball, Lowe doubled to deep center
            • A. Garcia: Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Garcia struck out swinging
            • Jake Diekman relieved Scott Barlow
            • K. Kiermaier: Strike looking, Kiermaier singled to center, Lowe scored, Kiermaier to second
            • D. Robertson: Strike looking, Robertson grounded out to second
            • Middle of the 8th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Diego Castillo relieved Yonny Chirinos
            • M. Maldonado: Strike looking, Maldonado grounded out to second
            • W. Merrifield: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Merrifield struck out swinging
            • A. Mondesi: Mondesi reached on an infield single to shortstop
            • A. Gordon: Ball, Ball, Mondesi stole second, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Gordon struck out swinging
            • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 7TH INNING
            • B. Boxberger Pitching:
            • B. Lowe: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Lowe struck out swinging
            • T. Pham: Pham flied out to right
            • J. Choi: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Choi flied out to left
            • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
            • R. O'Hearn: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, O'Hearn flied out to right
            • J. Soler: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Soler homered to left center
            • K. Gutierrez: Strike looking, Gutierrez grounded out to second
            • C. Owings: Ball, Strike looking, Owings flied out to center
            • End of the 7th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 6TH INNING
            • Brad Boxberger relieved Brad Keller
            • K. Kiermaier: Ball, Strike looking, Kiermaier flied out to left
            • D. Robertson: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Robertson struck out swinging
            • M. Perez: Perez grounded out to second
            • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
            • A. Mondesi: Strike swinging, Ball, Mondesi lined out to right
            • A. Gordon: Ball, Strike looking, Gordon grounded out to first
            • H. Dozier: Ball, Ball, Dozier flied out to deep center
            • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 5TH INNING
            • B. Keller Pitching:
            • B. Lowe: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Ball, Lowe walked
            • T. Pham: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Pham lined out to center
            • J. Choi: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Choi singled to left center, Lowe to third
            • Y. Diaz: Strike looking, Diaz singled to center, Lowe scored, Choi to second
            • N. Lowe: Ball, Ball, Lowe lined out to center
            • A. Garcia: Ball, Foul, Foul, Garcia reached on fielder's choice to third, Choi out at third
            • Middle of the 5th (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
            • C. Owings: Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Owings grounded out to shortstop
            • M. Maldonado: Maldonado grounded out to shortstop
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Merrifield flied out to shallow right
            • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 4TH INNING
            • B. Keller Pitching:
            • K. Kiermaier: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Kiermaier grounded out to second
            • D. Robertson: Robertson grounded out to shortstop
            • M. Perez: Perez flied out to right
            • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
            • R. O'Hearn: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, O'Hearn struck out swinging
            • J. Soler: Strike looking, Foul, Strike looking, Soler struck out looking
            • K. Gutierrez: Strike looking, Gutierrez grounded out to second
            • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
          • 3RD INNING
            • B. Keller Pitching:
            • Y. Diaz: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Diaz fouled out to first
            • N. Lowe: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Lowe walked
            • A. Garcia: Foul, Garcia grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Lowe out at second
            • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • Y. Chirinos Pitching:
            • C. Owings: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Owings struck out swinging
            • M. Maldonado: Ball, Ball, Maldonado safe at first on shortstop Robertson fielding error
            • W. Merrifield: Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Merrifield walked, Maldonado to second
            • A. Mondesi: Ball, Ball, Mondesi tripled to deep right, Maldonado and Merrifield scored
            • A. Gordon: Ball, Ball, Gordon hit sacrifice fly to center, Mondesi scored
            • H. Dozier: Dozier flied out to left
            • End of the 3rd (3 Runs, 1 Hit, 1 Error)
          • 2ND INNING
            • B. Keller Pitching:
            • A. Garcia: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Garcia struck out swinging
            • K. Kiermaier: Ball, Kiermaier hit by pitch
            • D. Robertson: Foul, Foul, Robertson singled to right, Kiermaier to third
            • M. Perez: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Perez doubled to deep center, Kiermaier scored, Robertson to third
            • B. Lowe: Ball, Lowe reached on fielder's choice to second, Robertson out at home, Perez to third
            • T. Pham: Pham tripled to deep right center, Perez and Lowe scored
            • J. Choi: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Choi lined out to left
            • Middle of the 2nd (3 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
            • R. Stanek Pitching:
            • H. Dozier: Foul, Dozier reached on an infield single to shortstop
            • R. O'Hearn: O'Hearn flied out to deep left
            • Yonny Chirinos relieved Ryne Stanek
            • J. Soler: Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Soler struck out looking
            • K. Gutierrez: Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Gutierrez fouled out to first
            • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
          • 1ST INNING
            • B. Keller Pitching:
            • B. Lowe: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Lowe lined out to center
            • T. Pham: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Pham lined out to right
            • J. Choi: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Choi walked
            • Y. Diaz: Strike looking, Ball, Choi to second on wild pitch, Choi to third on balk, Foul, Ball, Diaz singled to right, Choi scored
            • N. Lowe: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Lowe reached on fielder's choice to second, Diaz out at second
            • Middle of the 1st (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
            • R. Stanek Pitching:
            • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Merrifield struck out swinging
            • A. Mondesi: Ball, Ball, Mondesi flied out to center
            • A. Gordon: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Gordon grounded out to first
            • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)