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Rays sting Royals, ending Kansas City’s eight-game winning streak

Rays win their Sunday series finale against Kansas City - Image Credit: MLB

ST. PETERSBURG, FL — Two streaks came to an end on Sunday. The Tampa Bay Rays finally put together a win, to end a week filled with losses. After their season-long six game streak began last Sunday in Toronto and continued back home with three at the hands of the Red Sox, they lost the first two of the weekend series with the Kansas City Royals. The Royals season-long winning streak stood at eight.

Taj Bradley started strong for Tampa Bay, holding KC scoreless with just one hit, although also three walks, in five innings. Bobby Witt Jr.’s solo home run greeted reliever Shawn Armstrong in the top of the sixth inning and the Rays were behind once again.

After a perfect five innings by Royals starter Michael Wacha, he finally gave up a hit and a walk in the bottom of the sixth. But the Rays’ redemption rally came the next inning, started with hits by Harold Ramírez (Cartagena, Colombia) and Isaac Paredes (Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico). That ended Wacha’s day, and John Shreiber came in and plunked Randy Arozarena (Havana, Cuba). 

With the bases loaded and no outs, Rays manager Kevin Cash then sent up three straight left handed pinch hitters. Jonathan Aranda (Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico) grounded into a force out, with 1B Salvador Pérez (Valencia, Venezuela) throwing home to get Ramírez. Brandon Lowe, hitting just .140 since coming back from injury, then laced a bases-clearing triple to right. 

Richie Palacios popped out, then Tampa Bay center fielder Jose Siri’s bat also woke up with an RBI single to bring in their fourth and final run, which was the Sabana Grande de Boya, Dominican Republic native’s 14th RBI of the season. Reliever Carlos Hernández (Guayana, Venezuela) came in to put out the fire by striking out Yandy Díaz (Sagua la Grande, Cuba). 

The Royals got three more base runners themselves in each of their last two innings, but none came in to score. After loading the bases in the ninth, Rays closer Pete Fairbanks got Witt to ground to second on the first pitch to secure the 4-1 win.

Tampa Bay now has Memorial Day off, as the A’s fly in from California to face them Tuesday. The Royals head to Minneapolis for a Memorial Day matinee with the Twins.

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