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Better late than never as Rays win a nail-biter over Royals

On Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo, it appeared as the game between the Rays and the Royals was destined to go into extra innings without either team scoring as they could only manage 10 hits combined going into the ninth inning.

Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium on April 8, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images
Ben Zobrist #18 of the Tampa Bay Rays drops the ball as he tries to get the force out on Alcides Escobar #2 of the Kansas City Royals in the third inning at Kauffman Stadium on April 8, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Rays’ starter Chris Archer battled his way out of two bases loaded situations in the third and sixth innings, but otherwise, neither team could muster up any offense to push across any runs in the first eight innings.

The Rays finally broke through with two outs in the top of the ninth inning on a double by James Loney that brought in Wil Myers, who had reached on an infield single to start the inning. The two hits in that inning doubled their total hits up to that point.

Closer Grant Balfour came into the game in the bottom of the ninth to try to close out the game for the Rays, but ran into immediate trouble as Mike Moustakas singled to lead off the inning, but Balfour maintained his composure and retired the next three hitters without any trouble to pick up his second save of the 2014 season.

Joel Peralta picked up the win in relief of Archer, who pitched brilliantly for seven innings allowing just six hits. Unfortunately for Archer and the Rays, Royals rookie starter Yordano Ventura was equally brilliant in giving up just two hits in six innings, while striking out six and walking none.

Upcoming

The Rays conclude their series against the Royals Wednesday night as the Rays send rookie Jake Odorizzi (1-0, 1.00) to the mound against the Royals’ Jeremy Guthrie (1-0, 6.35)

Notes

Replay controversy ensued in the third inning on an attempted double play ball started by SS Yunel Escobar. Escobar cleanly fielded the ground ball and tossed it to 2B Ben Zobrist who appeared to drop the ball while transferring it to his bare hand. 2B Umpire called the runner safe which brought out Rays manager Joe Maddon to challenge the call. Slow motion replays seemed to show that Zobrist did catch the ball and only lost control during the transfer, but the umpire’s call was upheld, much to the dismay of Maddon.

The Rays placed LHP Matt Moore on the 15-day disabled list with an elbow injury. Moore was removed from the game on Monday in the fifth inning with elbow soreness.