KANSAS CITY— The Royals defeated the Rays, 8-3, Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium to complete a four-game sweep. The Royals have won five in a row while the Rays have lost 15 of 18.
The Royals scored seven times against Rays starter Nathan Karns, who took his fifth loss of the season. Lorenzo Cain and Salvador Perez each hit two-run homers, Eric Hosmer had an RBI double and scored on a sacrifice fly and rookie Cheslor Cuthbert drove in two, including an RBI triple.
“This time last week, we were trying to figure out why our bats were so quiet, so it just goes in cycles” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “You just ride it as long as you can when you’re hot and continue to grind through it when you’re not.”
Yordano Ventura started for the Royals and earned the win to move to 4-6 on the season. He pitched four scoreless innings before the Rays scored three against him in the fifth. Rene Rivera drew a bases-loaded walk while John Jaso and Grady Sizemore each had sacrifice flies. The Royals answered the rally with three in the bottom half of the inning to take a 7-3 lead.
“The Royals continued to swing the bats,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We saw them for four games and you could argue this was maybe their best one. Coming out really aggressive. Pretty relentless approach that they’re featuring right now.”
But the best in Yost’s mind?
“I don’t know, man. We’ve played some pretty good series all year, and I think this was our 50th win, and we’re still three games away from the All-Star break,” Yost said. “We’re playing pretty good.”