- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Drew Smyly’s struggles continue.

The Kansas City Royals had a season-high 18 hits and knocked out Smyly after four innings in beating the Rays 10-5 on Tuesday night.

Lorenzo Cain homered and drove in four runs as the Royals extended their winning streak to a season-best five games. The Rays have lost six of seven.

The Royals, who have won six straight series, took a two-game lead in the AL Central after being seven games out and in fourth place on May 10.

Cain hit a two-run homer in the first inning and a two-run single in the five-run fifth when the Royals batted around. Cain has 23 RBIs in his past 19 games after driving in 10 runs in his first 30 games.

Kendrys Morales homered - a two-run shot in the sixth - and drove in three runs for the Royals while Eric Hosmer had three hits and drove in two runs. Hosmer is 13 for 30 with 13 RBIs on this homestand.

“That ball game got away from us,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Drew didn’t have his best stuff. He couldn’t quite get any of his off-speed pitches the way he’s generally capable of throwing them. He just didn’t have it. They were able to square up some fastballs. The one inning that got out of hand the lead-off double was smoked and then there was a bunch of hits that found holes. They’re all hits and they all count. But it’s frustrating when you’re on the other end of it.”

Smyly (2-7) gave up eight runs and 12 hits. In his past three starts, all losses, he has allowed 25 hits and 16 earned runs in 16 1/3 innings. His ERA inflated from 3.44 to 4.77 in that span.

“They just keep coming at you,” Smyly said. “They put the ball in play and make stuff happen. I felt like I made a lot of good pitches. They just found holes. The fourth inning, for example, (Brett) Eibner led off with a double. They barely got another ball out of the infield, and I gave up five runs. I thought I made a lot of good pitches but they kept fisting them for singles. What can I do? It didn’t go my way.”

Rays closer Brad Boxberger, who came off the disabled list Monday, left after 16 pitches in the sixth with a left side strain.

“I know (after) the last pitch I wasn’t able to go any more,” Boxberger said. “That’s where I am right now. There wasn’t anything that was going to get better on it, so I had to come out at that point. I don’t know the timetable right now. I have to see another doctor and see what he says.”

Royals right-hander Dillon Gee (2-2) labored through five innings to pick up the victory, throwing 102 pitches. He gave up four runs and nine hits, while walking one and striking out seven.

Every Royal had at least one hit. Paulo Orlando singled in the eighth, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games. Drew Butera had three hits, matching his career high.

Dickerson hit a three-run homer in the first and drove in another run in the ninth.

“It was definitely a big pick-me-up,” he said of his homer. “It’s a new game, it gave us the lead. It turned around the momentum. It stinks to give it back.”

The Rays loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth off rookie left-hander Scott Alexander. Evan Longoria led off the inning with a double and Alexander walked the next two. After Dickerson’s one-out RBI single, Wade Davis was summoned and picked up his 15th save in 16 opportunities.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: 2B Steve Pearce, who left in the eighth inning Monday with a tender right elbow, was back in the lineup Tuesday, but was pinch hit for in the fifth inning. Cash said it was for a precaution with the Royals up six runs. … RHPs Alex Cobb and Chase Whitley, who both underwent Tommy John surgery in May 2015, each threw a 35-pitch bullpen session Tuesday at Tropicana Field. … INF Logan Forsythe, who is on the DL with a left scapula hairline fracture, hit off the tee and fielded ground balls at Tropicana.

Royals: Eibner was carted from the field in the fifth inning with a left ankle sprain. He was sent for an MRI. Manager Ned Yost said it appears to be serious enough to put him on the DL. … Moustakas, who has a torn right ACL, will see Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday in Pensacola, Florida for a second opinion. … LHP Mike Minor, who missed last season after surgery for a torn labrum, was pulled out of his rehab assignment with shoulder fatigue. He came Tuesday to Kansas City to be examined by the Royals medical staff.

UP NEXT

Rays: RHP Chris Archer is 0-2 with a 6.27 ERA in three career starts against the Royals.

Royals: LHP Danny Duffy has a 4.86 ERA this season at Kauffman Stadium and a 1.29 ERA on the road.

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