- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - While Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez are sidelined with injuries, the Kansas City Royals’ offense continues to roll with eight straight games with double-figure hits.

Lorenzo Cain homered and drove in four runs as the Royals beat the Tampa Bay Rays 10-5 on Tuesday night, extending their winning streak to a season-best five games.

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.

“I think the big thing for Cain and I when everybody went down we had realized we had to step up and do our part,” Hosmer said. “We’re a big piece of the offense. These guys continue to set the table at the top of the lineup - Esky (Alcides Escobar) and Whit (Merrifield). When Cain and I are getting opportunities to drive in runs, we’re not missing them.”

The Royals had a season-high 18 hits, while the 10 runs matched a season high.

“We’re rolling,” Hosmer said. “We’re swinging the bats really well. Any time we get runners in scoring position, we’re cashing in.”

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.

“I definitely wish I could have one pitch back,” said Gee, who left a changeup over the middle of the plate in the second and Corey Dickerson hit it out for a three-run homer.

Rays starter Drew Smyly (2-7) was pulled after four innings, yielding 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.

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 drove in another run in the ninth.

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.

“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.”


Rays: RHP Brad Boxberger, who just came off the DL after adductor muscle surgery in March, left after 16 pitches in the sixth with a muscle strain in his left side. … 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: LF Brett 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.


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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