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Royals Rough Up Hellickson, Defeat Rays 10-1

The Rays lost the opening game to the Kansas City Royals by a final score of 10-1 to see their record fall to 35-31 and with the victory the Royals record improves to 31-33.

[1]Jeremy Hellickson [2] (4-3, 5.67 ERA) took the loss working 5.2 innings giving up 8R/ER on 10 hits striking out 4 and walking 0. For Hellickson it was another game where he was cruising along and then allowed a big inning to get away from him.  He retired the first 9 Royal hitters in a row and thanks to a double play ball he faced the minimum through 4 innings. Through the first 5 innings he had only allowed 2 baserunners but things quickly fell apart in the 6th inning.

Elliot Johnson [3] singled to lead off the inning, moved to 3rd on an Alcides Escobar [4] double, and came in to score on a Alex Gordon [5] single that advanced Escobar to 3rd. Escobar came in to score the Royals 2nd run on a wild pitch that also advanced  Gordon into scoring position. Eric Hosmer [6] flew out to center for the first out before Salvador Perez [7] drove in Gordon with a single to right. Billy Butler [8] followed with a single that advanced Perez to 3rd.

Only trailing 3-0 Hellickson gave himself a good chance to escape further damage when he struck out Lorenzo Cain [9] for the 2nd out. Unfortunately, like so many other times this year, the inning consumed Hellickson. David Lough [10] single to right to score Perez and Miguel Tejada [11] doubled to score Butler.  With the Royals already leading 5-0 and runners at 2nd and 3rd with 2-out Hellickson had to retire Elliot Johnson [3] to give the Rays offense a fighting chance. Johnson gave the Royals the necessary cushion delivering a 3-run homer to right to put the Royals up 8-0 and end Hellickson’s evening.

Jake Odorizzi [12] came and saved the Rays bullpen heading into tomorrows game by working the final 3.1 innings allowing 2 runs on 4 hits striking out 4 and walking 2.

The Royals offense tagged Rays pitching for 14 hits including multi-hit games by Alex Gordon [5], Billy Butler [8], David Lough [10], and Elliot Johnson [3] who led the charge with 3 hits.  Both Johnson and Eric Hosmer [6] hit home runs on the evening. Ellitot Johnson is now 6 for 8 with 2 home runs vs the Rays this season.  Every member of the Royals starting lineup scored a run tonight.

The Rays offense was shut down by Ervin Santana [13] (5-5, 2.474 ERA) who in earning the victory was never stressed by the Rays offense in his 7.2 innings of work. He only allowed 1R/0ER on 5 hits striking out 3 and walking 0.

The good news for the Rays is that Matt Joyce continues to hit well going 2 for 4 out of the leadoff spot and Luke Scott [14] going 2 for 2 as he entered the game as a  pinch hitter for James Loney [15].  Scott also worked at 1b for the 2nd time this season.

The Rays and Royals will meet again tomorrow night at 7:10 as Matt Moore [16] (8-2, 3.78 ERA) looks to rebound after allowing 15 ER in his last two starts. The Royals will counter with Luis Mendoza [17] (1-3, 4.19 ERA).