1 - 4 Final
  for this game

Rays complete sweep of Royals

Aug 12, 2011 - 4:19 AM St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Jeff Niemann was solid through 6 1/3 frames and Ben Zobrist went 2-for-3 with two RBI, as the Tampa Bay Rays earned a 4-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals to complete a four-game sweep.

Niemann (7-4) allowed just one run on nine hits and two walks to win his sixth straight decision.

Zobrist had a double and a triple, while Evan Longoria and Sean Rodriguez both knocked in a run for the Rays.

Kyle Farnsworth threw a perfect ninth to record his 21st save of the season.

"We've been trying to [play well at home] all year long and now is a great time to do it," Niemann said.

Danny Duffy (3-6) allowed three runs on five hits over seven frames to suffer the loss.

Melky Cabrera went 3-for-5 and Eric Hosmer had an RBI for the Royals, losers of six of their last seven.

On Wednesday, Kansas City blew a four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth to suffer an 8-7 loss.

"This is where it hurts. You start showing improvement, but you can't get over the hump in winning games," cried Royals manager Ned Yost.

The team proved resilient in spite of the heartbreaker, as Alex Gordon and Cabrera began Thursday's contest with consecutive singles and promptly executed a double steal. Gordon scored on a Hosmer groundout to give the Royals an early advantage.

The Rays answered in the third with some two-out magic and did not look back. Johnny Damon got things started with a walk and Longoria followed with a base hit before Zobrist made it a 2-1 game with a triple to left-center.

Desmond Jennings legged out a triple to begin the home fifth and scored two batters later on Longoria's sac fly.

The Royals loaded the bases a half-inning later following three consecutive two-out singles, but Gordon went down swinging to end the threat.

In the seventh, Cabrera led off with a single and, following a Billy Butler flyout, J.P. Howell relieved Niemann. Howell faced just one batter, allowing a Hosmer single, before Joel Peralta entered and put down Jeff Francoeur on strikes.

Rodriguez's two-out base hit in the bottom of the eighth drove home Zobrist and sealed the final margin.

Game Notes

The Rays earned their eighth four-game sweep in club history and first at Tropicana Field since 2005. They now embark on a six-game road trip to face the Yankees and Red Sox...Niemann has not lost (6-0) in nine starts since returning from the DL on June 20...Duffy made his first career start against the Rays...Tampa Bay pitcher Alex Cobb will have surgery on Friday to remove a blockage in the area of his first right rib. The recovery time is expected to be 10-12 weeks.

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    Royals 1, Rays 4  FinalAug 12 12:19 PM

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  • Sean Rodriguez single to center scored Ben Zobrist with two outs. On the play, Casey Kotchman advances to second. Runners on first and second and Sam Fuld due up.

    Royals 1, Rays 4  Bot 8, 2 OutsAug 11 2:43 PM

  • Evan Longoria sacrifice fly to center scored Desmond Jennings with two outs. None on and Ben Zobrist due up.

    Royals 1, Rays 3  Bot 5, 2 OutsAug 11 1:44 PM
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    Royals 1, Rays 3  Bot 5, 2 OutsAug 11 1:44 PM
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    Royals 1, Rays 2  Mid 5Aug 11 1:39 PM
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    Royals 1, Rays 2  End 4Aug 11 1:24 PM

  • Mike Moustakas struck out swinging to end the inning.

    Royals 1, Rays 2  Mid 4Aug 11 1:13 PM

  • Eric Hosmer ground out second to first scored Alex Gordon with two outs. On the play, Melky Cabrera advances to third. Runner on third and Jeff Francoeur due up.

    Royals 1, Rays 0  Top 1, 2 OutsAug 11 12:20 PM

    TAMPA BAY: 0
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