KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jason Vargas took a shutout into the ninth inning, Alcides Escobar hit a three-run double and the Kansas City Royals beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 Monday night in a game that included two significant injuries.
Rays starter Matt Moore (0-2) came out in the fifth inning with a sore left elbow. The All-Star lefty grimaced after throwing a pitch to Norichika Aoki and was immediately removed by manager Joe Maddon.
Two innings later, Royals second baseman Omar Infante was hit in the face by a pitch from reliever Heath Bell. Infante also left the game, walking off under his own power with Kansas City trainers Nick Kenney and Kyle Turner.
Infante, struck on the left cheek, was spitting blood and had blood on his forehead as trainers held a towel to his face.
Vargas (1-0) allowed four hits, walked one and struck out two in eight-plus innings, lowering his ERA to 1.20 in two starts. He lost his shutout bid when Ben Zobrist homered on his second pitch in the ninth.
Greg Holland replaced Vargas and earned his third save, but not before giving up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Matt Joyce.
Escobar was 1 for 19 before his bases-loaded double off the left field wall on a 2-2 pitch from Bell with two outs in the seventh. Escobar’s three RBIs matched his career high. Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain singled to load the bases before Escobar’s first extra-base hit of the season.
Eric Hosmer singled home Aoki, who tripled, in the first inning.
Moore, who missed 31 games last season with an elbow injury, threw 78 pitches. He was replaced by Cesar Ramos.
The Rays, who have lost seven straight at Kauffman Stadium, have scored three runs in their four losses this year while going 1 for 32 with runners in scoring position during those defeats.
Evan Longoria had three of the Rays’ six hits.