Faced with the prospect of losing a fifth consecutive game, the Tampa Bay Rays found their groove at the plate in time to take their series opener with the Kansas City Royals. The Rays will try to win two in a row from the visiting Royals when the teams continue a three-game series Tuesday night.
Entering the series on a four-game skid, Tampa Bay fell behind 3-1 to Kansas City on Monday before posting five unanswered runs to claim a 6-3 victory, its ninth in a row versus the Royals. Mike Zunino returned from the paternity list to slug a tie-breaking two-run homer in the seventh - his first in a Rays' uniform - and Yandy Diaz added a solo blast in the eighth for Tampa Bay. Kansas City received early home runs from Alex Gordon, Jorge Soler and Hunter Dozier but still lost for the fourth time in a row. Dozier, who has four long balls in his last eight games, left Monday's contest due to back spasms.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS Kansas City, FS Sun (Tampa Bay)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Homer Bailey (2-1, 4.30 ERA) vs. Rays RH Ryne Stanek (0-0, 1.46)
After picking up one victory in 20 starts last year, Bailey has won back-to-back appearances with dominant outings against Cleveland at home and the New York Yankees on the road. He first held the Indians to two hits in seven scoreless innings on April 13 before limiting the Yankees to a run in six frames five days later. The 32-year-old, who has never faced the Rays, has 27 strikeouts and 18 hits allowed in 23 innings on the season.
Stanek will serve as the opener for the sixth time, having worked eight scoreless innings through his first five starts. He also has eight scoreless frames at home this year while yielding four hits and striking out eight. Jalen Beeks and Ryan Yarbrough are candidates to eat up some innings once Stanek's night is over (Stanek has yet to pitch more than two innings or throw more than 32 pitches).
1. Gordon has homered in consecutive games and has eight RBIs over his last six contests.
2. Rays RHP Emilio Pagan picked up his first career save with a scoreless ninth in Monday's win.
3. Kansas City's last win over Tampa Bay came on Aug. 29, 2017.
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TAMPA BAY RAYS
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
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Tampa Bay Rays
- ForearmEarly July | 60-day IL
Glasnow has been transferred to the 60-day injured list due to a right forearm strain. He is expected to return to the lineup in early July.
- ObliqueEarly June | 10-day IL
Perez has been placed on the 10-day injured list with tightness in his right oblique. He will likely be out of game action until the beginning of June.
- HamstringMid June | 60-day IL
Duffy has been placed on the 60-day injured list due to back and hamstring discomfort. He is likely to be shut down until sometime in June after suffering a setback during his rehab assignment.
- HandEarly June | 10-day IL
Diaz has landed on the 10-day injured list due to a left hand contusion, but he is expected to be ready to return to the lineup during the beginning of June.
- WristMid June | 10-day IL
Wendle has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a fractured right wrist and is expected to be idle until at least the middle of June.
- QuadricepEarly June | 10-day IL
Zunino has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a left quadriceps strain and is projected to be away from the field until at least the start of June.
- IllnessQues Fri | questionable
Robertson departed the previous game due to an allergic reaction, and it is uncertain if it will impede his availability against the Indians on Friday.
- KneeLate June | 10-day IL
Bemboom sustained a left knee sprain and has landed on the 10-day injured list. He is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks.
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Kansas City Royals
- ElbowProb Sun | 10-day IL
Flynn is dealing with left elbow soreness and has been activated from the 10-day injured list. He is expected to return to the lineup for Sunday's matchup against the Yankees.
- BackEarly June | 10-day IL
Duda was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a lumbar strain. He is likely to be out of commission until the early part of June.
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