Rays Down Royals 5-1, Snap Streak

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays continued their hot streak on Monday night, beating the Kansas City Royals 5-1 on Monday night at Tropicana Field.

The loss snaps a three-game winning streak for Kansas City (54-67, 28-34 away).

The Rays (68-54, 33-27 home) just finished a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on the road, and have now won five straight.

It was a tough night for Royals lefty Will Smith. Smith (4-5, 5.40 ERA) gave up four runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking two.

Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson showed why he’s one of of the best young pitchers in baseball. Hellickson (8-8, 3.28 ERA) gave up one run on six hits in 7 innings, fanning six and walking one.

Left fielder Alex Gordon tied the game at 1-1 with an infield RBI single in the third inning, but that was the only highlight offensively for the Royals. Left fielder Desmond Jennings scored on a wild pitch by Smith to give the Rays a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third.

In the fifth, a solo home run by Jeff Keppinger gave the Rays a 5-1 lead.

Two former Royals pitchers helped seal the deal for Tampa Bay. Relievers J.P. Howell (2.62 ERA) and Kyle Farnsworth (3.45 ERA) combined to toss two scoreless innings.

The Rays and Royals are two of the hottest teams in baseball right now. The Royals are 12-7 in the month of August. The Rays are 14-4.

Luke Hochevar (7-11, 5.24 ERA) will start against Rays All-Star lefty David Price (16-4, 2.39 ERA) for game two on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

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