Salvador Perez Delivers 9th Inning Blast To Send Rays To Defeat
The Tampa Bay Rays have taken many steps forward since falling a season high 18 games under .500 on June 10th but on Wednesday night the team took a step backward in losing 5-4 to the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
The big blow for the Royals came in the top of the ninth inning when Kirby Yates came in to replace Joel Peralta who had allowed a single to Jarrod Dyson who stole second and third. Peralta struck out Lorenzo Cain for the first out but walked Eric Hosmer before exiting the game.
Kirby Yates (0-1, 2.57 ERA) came in to try and stave off the Royals but his second pitch to Salavador Perez was lifted over the short well in left over the outstretched arms of Brandon Guyer for the go-ahead three run homer.
The Ray had entered the ninth inning with a 4-2 lead thanks to a Kevin Kiermaier grand slam in the bottom of the fourth inning (the Rays first slam of the year) off Yordano Ventura who tried to slip three straight changeups past the aggressive Kiermaier.
The lead held up in large part thanks to a solid effort by Alex Cobb who allowed two runs (earned) on six hits striking out seven and walking two. He was followed to the mound by Grant Balfour who finished the seventh inning, Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger who worked the eighth inning.
The Rays had a number of opportunities throughout the game to put runs on the board but the season long runner in scoring position nemesis appeared as they went 1 for 9.
The Rays prepare to take on the Toronto Blue Jays in their final series before the All-Star break.