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Royals ride five-run 5th to sting Archer, Rays
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Royals down Rays, 9-7 - photo by

KANSAS CITY— Even the Rays’ best couldn’t tame the Royals, who continued to hit on Wednesday night en route to a 9-7 win, their third consecutive win in the series. The four-game set at Kauffman Stadium concludes on Thursday afternoon.

The Royals (49-33) have won four in a row, while the Rays (43-44) lost for the 12th time in their last 14 games, but not before making things interesting with a three-run ninth. With runners on second and third against closer Greg Holland, Grady Sizemore struck out to end the game.

“Well it’s kind of becoming like a broken record,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We’re in a rut. We know it. Can’t quite find that break to get out of it. But I think it shows a lot about the club to get Holland into the game, put some pressure on them where we had the lead-taking run at the plate and the tying run at second base. It says a lot about the guys.”

The Royals, who entered the fourth with a 2-1 lead, were stunned when All-Star left fielder Alex Gordon crumpled chasing a fly ball from Logan Forsythe near the wall. As he lay in pain, Forsythe tied the score with an inside-the-park home run.

Gordon was carted off the field with what the club deemed to be a left groin strain and received an MRI after the game.

“We had a hard time getting refocused,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Guthrie did a great job of, bases loaded and I think nobody out, getting out of it by giving up one with a great play by Dyson … but it was a hard inning for us all to get through.”

All-Star right-hander Chris Archer started for the Rays and took a 1-0 lead into the third when Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run homer.

Logan Forsythe’s inside-the-park homer off Jeremy Guthrie along with Rene Rivera’s RBI single gave the Rays a 3-2 lead before the Royals scored five in the fifth via RBI singles by Cain, Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez, along with a two-run double by Kendrys Morales.

Jarrod Dyson, who replaced Gordon, hit the second inside-the-park homer of the game in the sixth to give the Royals a 9-3 lead. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time two inside-the-park homers occurred in a game was May 26, 1997, when Sammy Sosa of the Cubs and Tony Womack of the Pirates turned the trick.

“Four years at being a third-base coach [with the Braves], I never had an inside-the-parker,” Yost said. “It’s fun, and let alone to see two of them in one game, it’s something that you rarely see anymore.”