5 - 0 Final
  for this game

Rays blank Royals, avoid sweep

Jul 25, 2011 - 12:11 AM Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Alex Cobb went seven scoreless innings to help the Tampa Bay Rays defeat the Kansas City Royals, 5-0, and avoid a sweep in the finale of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

Cobb (3-0) scattered six hits while fanning a pair and did not issue a walk. He earned his first win since beating the Florida Marlins on June 18.

"My two-seam was working and my change was working so I was getting a lot of ground balls," Cobb said. "It felt like every time they put the ball in play it was a ground ball or a jam-shot that was in the air. My whole game plan was to go deep into the game and the best way to do that was to get them to ground out early."

Recent call-up Desmond Jennings collected two hits, including a double, and Ben Zobrist went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

Casey Kotchman also ripped a double for the Rays, who had lost three of their previous four games.

Mike Aviles had a double while Eric Hosmer and Melky Cabrera picked up hits for the Royals, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.

Felipe Paulino (1-4) tossed 5 2/3 innings in defeat, giving up four runs on seven hits while fanning six and walking a pair.

The Rays opened the scoring with two runs in the third inning and cruised from there. Johnny Damon walked to leadoff and Zobrist followed with a double to give Tampa runners on second and third with no outs. Longoria then smacked a single to left to score Damon and Joyce lofted a sacrifice fly to give the Rays a 2-0 lead.

Tampa Bay loaded the bases with two down in the sixth and picked up two runs on a walk to Damon and a hit-by-pitch to give the Rays a 4-0 lead.

The Royals threatened in the seventh, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Kansas City squandered a golden opportunity however, as Aviles grounded into a double play and Mike Moustakas grounded out to second to end the inning.

The Rays extended their lead to 5-0 in the eighth on an RBI single to right by Zobrist. Louis Coleman was summoned from the KC bullpen with runners on the corners and two down and fanned Evan Longoria to end the inning.

Kansas City put runners on first and second with two down in the eighth. Rays reliever Joel Peralta got Billy Butler to line out to Longoria to end the threat for Kansas City.

Aviles smacked a two-out double and Moustakas reached on a throwing error by Longoria to give the Royals two men on in the ninth. Jake McGee got Matt Treanor to bounce out to third to end the game.

"You know, you won the first two games and wanted to take the third game, but their guy pitched better than our guy," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Game Notes

Sunday marks the fourth consecutive season the Rays have been over the .500 mark after 100 games...The Rays are 1-2 on their current 10-game road trip...Kotchman ripped his 20th double of the season in the second inning...Zobrist hit his 31st double of the year in the third...This was the fifth time the Royals have been shut out this season.

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    Rays 5, Royals 0  FinalJul 25 3:55 PM

  • TAMPA BAY: 5

    Jul 24 5:15 PM

  • Ben Zobrist single to right scored Sean Rodriguez with two out. On the play, Desmond Jennings advances to third. Runners on first and third and Evan Longoria due up.

    Rays 5, Royals 0  Top 8, 2 OutsJul 24 4:33 PM

  • Ben Zobrist was hit-by-pitch scored Sean Rodriguez with two out. Bases loaded and Evan Longoria due up.

    Rays 4, Royals 0  Top 6, 2 OutsJul 24 3:55 PM

  • Johnny Damon bases loaded walk scored Sam Fuld with two out. Bases loaded and Ben Zobrist due up.

    Rays 3, Royals 0  Top 6, 2 OutsJul 24 3:54 PM

  • Matt Joyce sacrifice fly to right scored Ben Zobrist with one out. On the play, Evan Longoria advances to second. Runner on second and Casey Kotchman due up.

    Rays 2, Royals 0  Top 3, 1 OutJul 24 2:59 PM

  • Evan Longoria single to left scored Johnny Damon with none out. On the play, Ben Zobrist advances to third. Runners on first and third and Matt Joyce due up.

    Rays 1, Royals 0  Top 3, 0 OutsJul 24 2:58 PM
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    Rays 0, Royals 0  Mid 2Jul 24 2:45 PM

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    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Jul 24 2:14 PM
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    Rays vs. RoyalsJul 24 7:40 AM