Game 75: Rays Come Back, Fall To Royals 5-4

By David Hill

What started as a promising road trip ended on a sour note as the Tampa Bay Rays were swept by the Kansas City Royals.

Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar homered to give the Royals an early 2-0 lead after three innings. In the bottom of the fifth, Yuniesky Betancourt chopped a ground ball over a drawn in infield with one out to extend the lead to 4-0.

The Rays came storming back. In the top of the sixth inning, Jeff Keppinger and Ben Zobrist both had run scoring base hits, cutting the lead to 4-2. Zobrist struck again in the top of the eighth, when his two run triple tied the game. He was thrown out at home on a ground ball to short. After an infield single put runners on first and second, pinch hitter Hideki Matsui struck out to end the threat.

Despite the rough start to the game, Rays starter Matt Moore lasted into the eighth inning. He pitched 7.1 innings, allowing 4 earned runs on 10 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 batters. Burke Badenhop entered the game, and promptly gave up a home run to Billy Butler, putting the Royals back on top 5-4. Jonathon Broxton performed his typical high wire act in the ninth, walking B.J. Upton before getting Carlos Pena to ground into a double play to end the game.

With the loss, the Rays now fall into a tie with the Boston Red Sox for third in the division, and end the road trip with a 3-6 record.