Royals' Davis helps beat his former team

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla -- The Tampa Bay Rays made the much anticipated move Sunday of recalling prized outfield prospect Wil Myers.
But it was a pitcher Tampa Bay sent to Kansas City in the blockbuster deal for Myers in the offseason that came back to bite the Rays Sunday afternoon.
Right-hander Wade Davis pitched six strong innings, lifting Kansas City to a 5-3 win over Tampa Bay in front of a Fathers' Day crowd of 27,422 at Tropicana Field.
Davis, along with right-hander James Shields and infielder Elliot Johnson, were acquired in the Myers deal, and each has played a role in a win over the Rays this season.
"It just means that they were trained well," Rays manager Joe Maddon said with a smile.
Davis overcame a rocky, 35-pitch first inning, in which he allowed two runs and three hits, settling in to throw five scoreless innings after that to pick up his first win since May 15.
"I just tried to keep the game where it was," Davis said. "Today was a matter of just taking a deep breath and keeping the ball down and getting some quick outs."
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.
"It's no fun," Maddon said. "We should be better than that at home. We had plenty of opportunities to win more games. We have to be more consistent. There's no consistency to all areas of the game on a nightly basis."
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 in a two-out rally sparked by, no surprise, ex-Ray 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.
"I said in this at-bat, I don't want to miss that one, I want a base hit," Escobar said. "Looking for my fastball, they threw a fastball right down the middle, and I get a base hit."
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. 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 then brought the tying run to the plate in Ben Zobrist, but he struck out to end the game.
"It was a great series," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "As long as I've been here, we've always struggled to win baseball games here. To come in and win three out of four, that was a huge series for us."
The Rays made their huge roster move postgame, saying Myers will join the team in Boston for its upcoming seven-game road trip against the Red Sox and Yankees. Executive Vice President Andrew Friedman has maintained that when Myers proved he was ready, they would "auger" a spot for him. They've deliberated on it for a while, and with Myers' recent hot streak - moving his average to .286 with 14 homers and 57 RBIs for Durham - "accelerated the conversations," Friedman said.
Myers will play regularly, primarily in right field, with Maddon saying they'll try to "ease" the pressure off him by batting him lower in the lineup.
"He's going to play a lot," Maddon said. "Of course, you don't bring somebody like that up to sit around."
Infielder Ryan Roberts was optioned to Durham to make room.
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 after experiencing soreness following Thursday's simulated game.

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