Devil Rays 7, Royals 4

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—The Devil Rays took a big step toward a modest goal.

Jorge Cantu hit a go-ahead, two-run double during a five-run eighth inning to help the Tampa Bay beat the Kansas City Royals 7-4 Tuesday night.

Jose Cruz had four hits, including a two-run homer for the Devil Rays, who need to go 6-7 the rest of the year for their first 70-win season.

“It feels good to smile after a ballgame,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said after the Devil Rays stopped a five-game home losing streak. “It was a nice win.”

Cantu made it 5-4 on his drive to left-center field off Shawn Camp (2-1), and Carl Crawford and Cruz followed with RBI singles off Jaime Cerda.

“All I wanted to do was hit the ball hard,” Cantu said. “It’s amazing what can happen when you hit the ball really hard. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Rocco Baldelli had pulled the Devil Rays to 4-3 on a solo homer earlier in the eighth off Dennys Reyes.

Mark Hendrickson (9-15) allowed one unearned run in two innings, and Danys Baez pitched the ninth for his 28th save in 30 chances.

Hendrickson, who was recently dropped from the rotation, ended a seven-game losing streak with his first win since July 28.

Zack Greinke was looking to became the first Kansas City rookie to win nine games in season since Rusty Meacham (10) and Hipolito Pichardo (nine) in 1992. Greinke allowed two runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings, striking out seven.

“He’s impressive,” Piniella said. “Really poised. He changed speeds. You know what, it looked like he was having fun out there.”

Greinke is 6-2 in his last 10 starts.

“I’ll tell you what … they really impressed me,” Greinke said of the Devil Rays. “Those guys were making adjustments. I had to change my philosophy.”

David DeJesus hit a solo homer for the Royals, who went ahead 1-0 on Donnie Murphy’s run-scoring double in the second. It was the first career RBI for Murphy, who was called up from Class-A Wilmington last Friday.

Cruz hit a two-run homer in the third for a 2-1 lead, but DeJesus’ homer tied it in the fifth.

“Any time you can contribute to a win, it’s definitely a satisfactory feeling,” Cruz said.

Kansas City took a 3-2 lead in the sixth on Alberto Castillo’s RBI single. He has driven in six runs over his last five games. Matt Stairs added a run-scoring single one inning later.

“We played well,” Royals manager Tony Pena said. “Just one bad inning.”

Tampa Bay starter Rob Bell gave up three runs and six hits in six innings.

Both benches were warned by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt after Bell threw two of his first three pitches to Abraham Nunez well inside with two outs in the fifth. Tampa Bay’s B.J. Upton was hit by Greinke pitch in the second.

Notes

Cantu has 41 hits in his rookie season, including 17 double. He plans to play winter ball in Mexico. … Royals DH Calvin Pickering, who injured his hamstring one pitch before hitting a tiebreaking two-run homer in Monday’s 6-3 win over Tampa Bay, was in the starting lineup. … Kansas City LF Desi Relaford was went 0-for-3 and is hitless in 18 at-bats. … Royals SS Angel Berroa has gone 14 at-bats without a hit, including 0-for-4 Tuesday,

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