DeLuca and Lowe homer as Rays pounce on poor Kansas City pitching in 10-8 victory over Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jonny DeLuca and Brandon Lowe homered, eight Rays players drove in runs, and Tampa Bay pounced on some erratic Kansas City pitching to squeak out a 10-8 victory over the Royals on Thursday night.

Zach Eflin (5-5), riding a 10-inning scoreless streak coming into the game, allowed six runs — five earned — and seven hits with a walk over five innings. That was still good enough to pick up his first win in his last five road starts.

“The offense was tremendous tonight,” Eflin said. “They carried us.”

Alec Marsh (6-6) allowed five runs and six hits with three walks in just three innings. The Kansas City bullpen fared no better as five relievers combined to allow five more runs, 10 hits and five walks.

“It was a game of adjustments and I wasn’t able to make them,” Marsh said. “Feels like you’re battling yourself out there.”

Michael Massey and Bobby Witt Jr. homered for the Royals, who trailed 9-4 before scoring three times in the sixth inning. The rally ended when Witt — representing the potential tying run — was thrown out trying to steal second.

Pete Fairbanks surrendered Witt’s solo homer in the ninth before picking up his 14th save.

“They kept going, getting big hits after big hits,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said, “but it felt like when we really needed a play, we made it.”

Marsh struggled with his command from the start, walking Richie Palacios on four pitches and Isaac Paredes on a full-count to start the game — both eventually scored. DeLuca homered in the second and Palacios added an RBI single for a 4-0 lead.

The Royals got a run back on Massey’s homer in the second. And after Tampa Bay restored a four-run lead on DeLuca’s single in the third, Witt hit a sacrifice fly and Pasquantino an RBI single to get Kansas City to 5-3.

Carlos Hernandez didn’t have much better command than Marsh for Kansas City. He walked the bases loaded to begin the fifth, and Taylor Walls and Ben Rortvedt made sure all three runners scored, extending the Tampa Bay lead.

The Rays hung on the rest of the way for their fifth straight series win.

“We got a lot of big hits. We had a lot of big at-bats, tough matchups,” said Cash, whose club has won 11 of its last 16 games to leave Kansas City above .500 at 43-42. “There were a lot of guys who contributed offensively.”


Massey played the field for the first time since May 24, when a lower back issue forced him onto the injured list. He had been limited to DH duties since returning to the club on June 24. … Royals INF/OF Adam Frazier (right thumb strain) began what is expected to be a short rehab stint at Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Friday night.


The Rays have not announced a starter for Friday night’s series-opener at Texas, though RHP Shane Baz is expected to get the ball in place of Aaron Civale, who was traded to the Brewers earlier this week. Baz missed last season after Tommy John surgery, but he’s been dominant at Triple-A Durham, compiling a 1.57 ERA over his last five outings.

The Royals begin a nine-game trip leading into the All-Star break with the first of three in Colorado on Friday night. RHP Cole Ragans (5-6, 3.33) will try to bounce back from a shaky outing last Saturday against Cleveland.



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