The Rays knew they had no margin for error. Their luck may have run out on Wednesday night thanks to Salvador Perez. His 3-run homer off Kirby Yates in the 9th inning gave the Royals a stunning 5-4 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field. Rays (42–52) lose two of three to the Royals (47-43).
Rays starter Alex Cobb began the game with back-to-back strikeouts in the first. Trouble ensued after that when Eric Hosmer launched a solo blast off a Cobb fastball to make it 1-0 Kansas City. The Royals loaded the bases with nobody out in the 4th and only scored one run.
Rays had their big inning in the 4th when they loaded the bases with two out. Ventura walked Jose Molina to set up Kevin Kiermaier’s first career grand slam to make it 4-2. Ventura threw a hanging changeup to Kiermaier and it was crushed into the right field seats for the team’s first grand slam of the season. Kiermaier went 4 for 4 on the night.
But the Royals were able to rally in the 9th against the Rays bullpen. K.C. put two runners on against Joel Peralta. Rays manager Joe Maddon lifted Peralta in favor of Yates and it backfired. Yates gave up the 3-run shot to Perez right down the left field line to give the Royals a stunning 5-4 lead.
Cobb went 6.2 innings and allowed two runs with 7 strikeouts. Aaron Crow got the win in relief. Greg Holland picked up his 24th save. Yates picks up the loss.
The Rays will have Thursday off. On Friday, they’ll open a weekend series against the Toronto Blue Jays from Tropicana Field. 5-5 Chris Archer throws for the Rays against 10-6 Mark Buehrle. Our coverage on 620am WDAE and 95.3FM begins at 6pm with Tom Krasniqi and the Suncoast Hyundai Dealers Inside Pitch.