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Hosmer hits walk-off double to lead Royals over Rays

POSTED July 23, 2011 10:14 p.m.
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Eric Hosmer (facing camera) of the Kansas City ...

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Joakim Soria worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the 10th and Eric Hosmer doubled home the winning run in the bottom of the inning and the Kansas City Royals rallied for a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night.
Brandon Gomes (0-1) threw two pitches in the 10th and took the loss. Billy Butler singled to right to lead off the inning. Mike Aviles ran for Butler and scored on Hosmer’s double to left-center.
The Royals have won four straight to match their season high winning streak.
The Rays loaded the bases in the 10th with none out, but failed to score. Rookie Aaron Crow, the Royals’ representative at the All-Star game, began the inning by walking Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton. He was replaced by Soria, who gave up a single to Matt Joyce to load the bases.
Soria (5-3) got Casey Kotchman on a comebacker, forcing out Longoria at home. He struck out pinch hitter Sam Fuld and Elliot Johnson looking to end the 10th.
Alex Gordon’s two-out double in the bottom of the ninth scored Alcides Escobar to tie the score at 4-4.
Kyle Farnsworth, who pitched for the Royals the past two seasons, blew his fourth save in 23 attempts.
Desmond Jennings tripled, doubled, scored two runs and drove in a run for the Rays.
Jennings, a highly touted prospect who was just recalled from Triple-A Durham, also, walked twice and stole a base.
Jennings led off the game with a triple and scored on Ben Zobrist’s one-out double off Royals left-hander Jeff Francis. The Rays could have added more in the first, but left the bases loaded on Kotchman’s ground out to end the inning.
Jeff Niemann left after six innings, holding the Royals to three runs, two earned, and seven hits, while striking out four and walking none. Niemann is 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA in four July starts.
Johnson tripled to lead off the second and scored on Jennings’ double.
Mike Moustakas, who drove in the first three Kansas City runs, doubled home Butler, who had reached on an Longoria fielding error, and Hosmer, who had singled, to the score at 2-2 in the fourth. Moustakas’ sacrifice fly in the sixth scored Hosmer.
Zobrist and Longoria hit back-to-back doubles in the fifth to put the Rays back on top 3-2. With two out in the sixth, Jennings walked and scored on Johnny Damon’s double.
Francis, who is winless in his past seven starts, allowed three runs and nine hits in five innings, while striking out six and walking two.

NOTES — Escobar, the only Royal to play in all the first 100 games, was back in the lineup Saturday. He left in the sixth inning Friday after being spiked in the right shin by Rays OF Sam Fuld when he slid into second base to break up a double play. ... Jennings became the 13th rookie used by the Rays this season. That’s the most by any big league club. The Royals have played 11 rookies, including eight pitchers, this season. ... Francis’ dozen losses are the second highest in the majors. Only Baltimore’s Jeremy Guthrie (13) has more. ... Rookie RHP Greg Holland struck out six in three innings, matching the Royals high for strikeouts this season by a reliever.


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