- Associated Press - Thursday, August 4, 2016

ST .PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - The World Series champion Kansas City Royals had another tough loss in what is shaping up as a disappointing season.

Brad Miller hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Royals 3-2 on Thursday.

Kansas City (51-57) split the four-game series after winning the first two games, and the loss dropped the Royals 11 games behind AL Central-leading Cleveland, which beat Minnesota 9-2.

“I know it’s frustrating to everybody,” said Ian Kennedy, who allowed one hit in six-plus innings.

Miller’s 19th homer was a drive off Joakim Soria (4-5), who gave up three of the Rays’ overall four hits during his one inning.

“We’re lucky to have him, and it doesn’t matter where plays,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “We know his bat plays.”

Kanas City dropped to 40-2 when ahead after seven innings.

“In my view it was a good pitch. . It was down in the zone,” Soria said.

Brad Boxberger (1-0) worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth, and Alex Colome got his 26th save in 27 chances despite giving up two hits during the ninth. Drew Smyly allowed two runs, five hits in seven innings and struck out 10.

“Bases loaded and one out. … A tack-on run there is huge,” Royals manger Ned Yost said of the eighth. “I was hoping that wouldn’t come back and haunt us, but it sure did.”

Kennedy walked four and had nine strikeouts. Alex Gordon hit his eighth home.

The Rays are 8-25 against Kansas City since the start of the 2012 season.

Gordon had not homered or driven in a run in his previous 72 at-bats against left-handers this season before a two-run drive that put Kansas City ahead 2-0 in the fourth.

Smyly has given up 23 homers, including six to left-handed hitters. He didn’t allow a homer to a lefty last season.

Kennedy entered tied with teammate Chris Young and Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey with a major league-high 26 homers allowed but hasn’t given up a long ball in three consecutive starts.

MLB SANCTION

Royals DH Kendrys Morales received a one-game suspension and a fine for his actions following a ninth inning ejection, which included returning to the field, in Tuesday night’s game. Morales appealed the ruling and started.

FUTURE IN BLUE?

Major League Baseball will hold a one-day free umpiring clinic for all ages at Tropicana Field Aug. 20. Baseball officials, including MLB umpire supervisor Charlie Reliford, will also be looking for scholarship candidates to attend a one-day pro mini-camp in December. Umpire Carlos Torres, who worked the Royals-Rays series, is a one-time camp participant that received an umpiring school scholarship.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Dillon Gee (3-5) will face recently acquired Toronto LHP Francisco Liriano, who went 6-11 with Pittsburgh.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide