Royals
Rays
2 - 9 Final
  for this game

Surging Rays extend winning streak to seven

Jul 6, 2008 - 10:52 PM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- How good are the surprising Tampa Bay Rays?

Even without All-Star catcher Dioner Navarro and lefthanded pitcher Scott Kazmir, the Rays still rolled to their seventh consecutive victory with a 9-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

Rookie Evan Longoria and Gabe Gross homered and James Shields allowed two runs in seven dominating innings as Tampa Bay made three straight wins over the Royals.

Carlos Pena had three hits to pace the Rays' 13-hit attack, which included six for extra bases.

The Rays (55-32) own the best record in the majors.

Tampa Bay is 17-4 in its last 21 and 32-6 in its last 38 home games at Tropicana Field.

"We're learning it doesn't matter who we play," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "There are no pushovers in this league. We don't take anyone lightly."

Longoria, who hit his 16th home run, Pena and B.J. Upton each had two RBI.

"Longoria's had quite a last couple of weeks," Maddon said. "He's playing with a lot of confidence. It's not really a surprise."

Shields (7-5) won his third consecutive start. He allowed four hits, walked one and struck out eight.

"I was attacking the zone and everything was clicking," Shields said. "My job was to keep the team in the game and get as deep in the game as possible."

Navarro and Kazmir watched from the dugout Sunday after being named to the American League All-Star team, only the second time the Rays have had two representatives.

"It's been such a wonderful thing for the whole team," said Navarro, named to his first All-Star team. "I'll take this and enjoy it as much as I can. It was a relief being selected."

Kazmir, who spent the first month of the season on the disabled list, is making his second All-Star appearance in three years.

"I just wanted to get back (off the DL) and wanted to contribute," Kazmir said. "Once I got back, I felt like I was hitting on all cylinders."

Trailing 2-1, the Rays broke it open with a four-run third. Pena ripped a two-run double to right and Longoria followed with a two-run homer to left for a 5-2 lead.

In the fourth, Upton's two-run double increased the margin to 7-2.

Gross' leadoff homer in the sixth and Carl Crawford's sacrifice fly accounted for the Rays' final two runs.

"I think we're just grinding," Gross said. "It's what we have to do."

Kansas City starter Luke Hochevar (5-7) allowed nine hits and seven earned runs in four innings.

"I didn't do a good job with moving the ball around and changing speeds," Hochevar said. "I felt they were able to sit one one location and one pitch. I have to do a better job pitching, changing speeds, moving the ball in and out."

The Royals, who have been outscored in the three-game series, 23-4, took a 2-0 lead in the second. Following Ross Gload's single and John Buck's double, Esteban German had a two-run single.

It was the last hit the Royals got off Shields until Gload's two-out double in the seventh.

"After the two runs, we let Shields get in a groove," Kansas City manager Trey Hillman said. "Tampa Bay is hot, they're confident and you can't make that many mistakes."

The Royals lost their third consecutive game and seventh in their last nine games.

"Individually we don't stand out," Maddon said. "But as a team we stand out. I'd rather have it be like that. We're playing like all-stars as a group."






  • 5
    roots
    FosterGrant Added 5 roots

    Royals 2, Rays 9  FinalJul 6 11:14 PM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    KANSAS CITY 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 6 0
    TAMPA BAY 0 1 4 2 0 2 0 0 x 9 13 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: KAN - LUKE HOCHEVAR, JOEL PERALTA (5TH), RAMON RAMIREZ (6TH),
    ROBINSON TEJEDA (7TH), JIMMY GOBBLE (8TH) AND JOHN BUCK
    TAM - JAMES SHIELDS, GARY GLOVER (8TH), TREVER

    Jul 6 4:16 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY CARL CRAWFORD SCORED AKINORI IWAMURA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    TAMPA BAY 9 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.275, 1-FOR-3, 2 RBI)

    Royals 2, Rays 9  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 6 3:22 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY GABE GROSS (7) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF JOEL PERALTA.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2, TAMPA BAY 8
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: S RIGGANS (.270, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Royals 2, Rays 8  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 6 3:16 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY B.J. UPTON SCORED SHAWN RIGGANS AND CARL
    CRAWFORD.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B UPTON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    TAMPA BAY 7 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C PENA (.231, 2-FOR-2, 2 RBI)

    Royals 2, Rays 7  Bot 4, 0 OutsJul 6 2:48 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY EVAN LONGORIA (16) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF LUKE HOCHEVAR SCORED CARLOS PENA.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2, TAMPA BAY 5
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: W AYBAR (.264, 1-FOR-1)

    Royals 2, Rays 5  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 6 2:29 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CARLOS PENA SCORED AKINORI IWAMURA AND CARL
    CRAWFORD.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C PENA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    TAMPA BAY 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E LONGORIA (.281, 0-FOR-0, HBP)

    Royals 2, Rays 3  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 6 2:28 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY BEN ZOBRIST SCORED CARLOS PENA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B ZOBRIST ON FIRST, E LONGORIA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    TAMPA BAY 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: G GROSS (.238, 6 HR, 20 RBI)

    Royals 2, Rays 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsJul 6 2:10 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ESTEBAN GERMAN SCORED ROSS GLOAD AND JOHN BUCK.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, E GERMAN ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2
    TAMPA BAY 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: T PENA (.162, 1 HR, 9 RBI)

    Royals 2, Rays 0  Top 2, 0 OutsJul 6 2:00 PM