ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Michael Massey hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning, and the Kansas City Royals made three big defensive plays in the bottom half to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Friday night, ending a four-game skid.
Massey drove in automatic runner Michael A. Taylor, who had moved up to third on a groundball.
Scott Barlow (5-4) got the win in relief with help from catcher Salvador Perez, who threw out Roman Quinn on an attempted steal of third in the 10th. MJ Melendez, who had thrown out Taylor Walls attempting to stretch a single into a double for the first out of the inning, ended the game with a diving catch of Francisco Mejia's sinking liner in left field.
Jalen Beeks (2-3) took the loss for the Rays, who have won five of seven and are in position for an AL wild card.
“It’s a tough loss for us because we know we just need to win. We're looking for the playoffs,” said Harold Ramirez, who had two of the Rays' six hits but was picked off second base with the bases loaded in the third. “But we have to turn the page. Tomorrow’s a new day for everybody.”
Bobby Witt's 16th home run put the Royals up 2-0 in the third against Rays starter Shane McClanahan. But Kansas City got only one other runner as far as second base until Taylor started the 10th there.
Witt's 438-foot homer came after a walk to Melendez and was the first of only two hits McClanahan allowed in seven innings.
“You try to get ahead and sneak a pitch past (Witt),” said McClanahan, who walked three and struck out eight. “He’s a good hitter and he made me pay for it.”
The Royals had totaled only three runs in their four straight losses and had failed to score more than two in each of their first seven road games in August. Manager Mike Matheny knew they had their hands full against McClanahan, who has allowed two runs or fewer in 18 starts.
“This guy’s been throwing really well and you knew he wasn’t going to give up a lot, and he had everything going,” Matheney said. “He wasn’t giving up much but the guys were efficient with what we did get.”
Royals starter Brady Singer gave up two runs on five hits and four walks in six innings, striking out seven.
Randy Arozarena drove in Tampa Bay's runs with a two-out single in the sixth, tying it 2-2, after hits by David Peralta and Harold Ramirez.
After that, it was all defense for the Royals.
“Everyone did their part,” Witt said. “Brady started us off. Late in the game, we were playing great defense all around, MJ making a great play and Salvy making a great play. … It was a lot of fun, everyone being a part of it.”
Rays: OF Manuel Margot, out since June 21 with a right patellar tendon strain, is eligible to come off the 60-day injured list Saturday. … RHP J.P. Feyereisen, who last pitched on June 2 due to a right shoulder impingement, said he hopes to return in September. … Tampa Bay selected RHP Kevin Herget from Triple-A Durham and optioned RHP Luis Patiño to Durham.
RHP Drew Rasmussen (7-4, 2.80 ERA), who took a perfect game into the ninth inning against Baltimore on Sunday, will start Saturday for the Rays against LHP Kris Bubic (2-7, 5.11).