ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Kansas City Royals right-hander Wade Davis settled down after a rocky start to beat the Rays, his former team, 5-3 in his return to Tropicana Field on Sunday.
Davis, who was drafted by the Rays in 2004 and pitched parts of four big-league seasons with them, was making his first start against Tampa Bay since being part of the offseason trade with pitcher James Shields for a package that included prized prospect Wil Myers.
Davis allowed two runs in a 35-pitch first inning, but held the Rays to just two hits over the next five, picking up his first win since May 15 with a strong, six-inning performance.
For Kansas City (33-34), it was its 10th win in its last 13 games. The Rays (36-33) lost for the sixth time in their last eight, and finished a disappointing 10-game homestand at 4-6.
Tampa Bay mustered all its offense while nearly batting around in the first inning, with Luke Scott hitting an RBI double and Desmond Jennings an RBI single. Davis, however, would settle in to shut Tampa Bay down, giving the Royals a chance to come back.
Kansas City had scored once against right-hander Roberto Hernandez in the first inning, thanks to an RBI single by Billy Butler. Jeff Francoeur tied it up in the fifth with a solo homer.
The Royals would take the lead for good in the sixth with a two-out rally sparked by, no surprise, ex-Ray Elliot Johnson, who has beat up on his former team since being the player to be named later in the Davis-Shields trade. Johnson hit a two-out double to right, and scored on a single by Alcides Escobar.
Hernandez (4-7) was pulled after that, and Jake McGee gave up an RBI single to Alex Gordon that extended the Royals' lead to 4-2. Hernandez was charged with four runs on nine hits in an 88-pitch outing. Gordon helped Kansas City add an insurance run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly, scoring Escobar, who led off the inning with a double.
The Rays, meanwhile, struggled to put anything together offensively in front of a Father's Day crowd of 27,422 at the Trop. Tampa Bay had just two hitters reach second base from the second inning through the eighth, before Jose Lobaton hit a solo homer in the ninth. Matt Joyce's two-out walk brought the tying run to the plate in Ben Zobrist, but he struck out to end the game.
The Rays just didn't play well overall, with a couple wild pitches, a dropped fly ball by Scott in leftfield, and a bobbled ground ball in the first by third baseman Kelly Johnson, helping extend the Royals inning.
NOTES: Rays RHP Alex Cobb was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon, one day after getting struck in the right ear by a line drive from Royals 1B Eric Hosmer. Cobb, who suffered a mild concussion, was placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list, with RHP Josh Lueke recalled from Triple-A Durham. .. LHP David Price (left triceps strain) is not sure when he'll make his first minor league rehab start, taking his slow after experiencing soreness following Thursday's simulated game.