It was an old fashioned pitchers duel in Kansas City on Tuesday night. When it was over, the Rays escaped with a 1-0 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Rays got their only run on a James Loney RBI single in the 9th inning. Tampa Bay snapped a 7 game losing streak at K.C. Rays improve to 5-4 on the season while the Royals drop to 3-4.
The game turned into a pitching duel between Chris Archer and Yordano Ventura. Both fireballers were on their game. Rays pitchers worked out of three bases loaded jams in this game.
The Rays lost a controversial challenge in the 3rd inning when Ben Zobrist appeared to lose control of the ball while trying to turn a double play. The umpires ruled the runner safe at second. Rays manager Joe Maddon decided to challenge and it appeared Zobrist had the ball long enough to record the force out, but the umpires upheld the call and the Rays lost the challenge. The inning continued when Norichika Aoki got on with a bunt single to load the bases with one out. Archer got out of the inning when he got Eric Hosmer to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Archer got into another serious jam in the 6th when the Royals loaded the bases with one out but Alex Gordon popped out. Then, Danny Valencia grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning. Archer tossed 7 scoreless innings and allowed just 6 hits with two walks and 6 strikeouts.
Ventura threw 6 scoreless innings and allowed just two hits with no walks and 6 strikeouts. He was consistently in the mid 90s and even touched 100 MPH on a couple of occasions.
The Rays had an opportunity in the 8th inning. Working against former Rays pitcher Wade Davis, Matt Joyce drew a walk with out. Pinch hitter Logan Forsythe was hit by a pitch. With runners at 1st and 2nd with one out, Davis struck out Yunel Escobar and David DeJesus to end the inning.
The Rays wiggled out of trouble in the bottom of the 8th when the Royals loaded the bases once again. This time, Joel Peralta struck out Valencia looking to end the inning.
Rays finally broke through in the 9th. After a leadoff infield single by Wil Myers, Zobrist flied out and Evan Longoria fouled out against Greg Holland. But with two out, Loney came through with a single to right to score Myers for the only run of the game. Tampa Bay managed just 4 hits on the night while the Royals had 9 hits.
Grant Balfour picked up his 2nd save of the season. Holland took the loss. Rays look to take the rubber match Wednesday afternoon. Jake Odorizzi throws for the Rays against Jeremy Guthrie. Our coverage on 620am WDAE and 95.3FM begins at 1pm with the Suncoast Hyundai Inside Pitch.