ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Kansas City Royals got some dividends from the James Shields trade Thursday night.
Elliot Johnson, part of a seven-player offseason deal that sent outfield prospect Wil Myers to Tampa Bay in exchange for the Rays' former ace, ignited and finished an eight-run sixth inning that sent Kansas City cruising to a 10-1 win at Tropicana Field.
Johnson's monstrous three-run homer to right chased laboring Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson (4-3), who was charged with eight earned runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
The light-hitting second baseman entered the inning with one home run this season -- albeit, off Hellickson on May 1 -- and on 0-for-14 slide before singling to lead off the inning. Johnson moved to third on Alcides Escobar's double and scored on a single by Alex Gordon (2-for-4). A wild pitch allowed Escobar to score before Salvador Perez singled home Gordon for a 3-0 lead.
David Lough gave the Royals a 5-0 edge with a base hit. Johnson (3-for-4) then stroked the 13th homer Hellickson has allowed in 14 starts this season.
Tampa Bay recouped an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth on a throwing error by third baseman Miguel Tejada.
Eric Hosmer hit his second homer of the season in the seventh to give Kansas City a 9-1 lead. Lough added an RBI single in the eighth for the final margin.
Ervin Santana was lavished in run support for the second straight start after the Royals scored just six runs in his first five starts of the season. Never in serious jeopardy, Santanta (5-5) allowed five hits with three strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings, yielding just the one unearned run.
Santana got seven runs of support Saturday as he beat the Houston Astros for his 100th career win.
NOTES: Rays LHP David Price, the defending American League Cy Young Award winner, said he felt great after a 54-pitch simulated game Thursday at Tropicana Field. Price has been on the disabled list since May 16 with a left triceps strain. Shields stepped into the batting cage as Price prepared for his mock test but ceded to Ryan Roberts, Sean Rodriguez and Sam Fuld. Rays manager Joe Maddon said Price is "exceeding expectations," and "looked like he could pitch in an actual game today." ... Evan Longoria started at designated hitter for Tampa Bay in a scheduled rest move and was replaced at third base by Kelly Johnson, who had not played the position since 2005 in Triple-A. ... Shields made his first trip to Tropicana Field as a visiting player but is not scheduled to pitch in the series after working Wednesday. He was given a standing ovation after a video tribute montage in the second inning. ... Santana retired the Rays on four pitches in the first inning.