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Loney's 9th-inning hit sends Rays past Royals

Apr 9, 2014 - 5:53 AM Kansas City, MO ( - James Loney's RBI single in the top of the ninth inning vaulted the Tampa Bay Rays past the Kansas City Royals, 1-0, in the second tilt of a three-game set.

Wil Myers led off the ninth against Greg Holland (0-1) with an infield single and later moved to second on a wild pitch with two outs. Loney then laced a single to right field to plate Myers for the go-ahead run.

"I wanted to hit it hard," Loney said. "You always want to hit it hard and hopefully not at somebody."

Mike Moustakas reached in the home half with a lead off single, but Grant Balfour retired the next three hitters in order to pick up his second save.

Rays starter Chris Archer scattered six hits and struck out four over seven scoreless frames. Joel Peralta (1-1) recorded the final out of the eighth to earn the win.

"Archer was on top of his game. This guy had a big league two-seamer, 92-95 mph, throwing strikes with it, real efficient with his two-seamer and his slider. He had some nasty stuff working," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Archer.

Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura allowed just two hits and struck out six without walking a batter over six scoreless innings.

The Royals were 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position, but left the bases loaded three times.

Kansas City's first opportunity came in the third inning. Alcides Escobar singled and Jarrod Dyson reached on a Ben Zobrist error before Norichika Aoki's bunt single loaded the bases with one out. Archer, though, got Eric Hosmer to ground into an inning-ending double play.

In the sixth, Hosmer walked ahead of back-to-back singles from Salvador Perez and Billy Butler, but Archer once again got out of the jam. Alex Gordon popped out to short and Danny Valencia grounded into a force out.

Valencia came up short once again the eighth. After Gordon walked to load the bases with two outs, Valencia struck out looking.

Valencia was starting in place of an injured Omar Infante, who was hit in the face with a pitch in the series opener on Monday. Infante suffered a non- concussive head injury and six stitches to his right jaw. He is considered day-to-day.

Game Notes

The Rays had just four hits ... Tampa Bay was 1-for-6 with RISP ... Aoki went 3-for-5 in the loss ... Escobar stole his first base of the season.