Royals defeat Rays in extra innings; win 8th straight

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Nelson Velázquez homered and had an RBI double in a three-run 11th inning as the Kansas City Royals beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-4 on Saturday for their eighth straight victory.

After both teams scored once in the 10th, Velázquez opened the 11th with his hit and scored on Adam Frazier’s RBI single off Richard Lovelady (0-3). Maikel Garcia also drove in a run with a hit.

“That’s what good teams do, play hard and pick each other up,” Frazier said. “That’s a recipe for success.”

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James McArthur (2-2) allowed one run in two innings, and Nick Anderson worked a scoreless 11th to get his first save.

“That was a battle,” Kansas City manager Matt Quatraro said. “It took a lot of guts from both sides to stay in a really competitive game.”

Kansas City has scored seven or more runs in a team-record six consecutive games.

Kansas City’s Kyle Isbel left in the seventh after a pitch by reliever Garrett Cleavinger hit him in the face while swinging. Isabel remained on his feet and walked off with a trainer holding a towel on his face. The team announced that Isbel has facial lacerations and will undergo additional tests.

“I think we’re extremely lucky,” Quatraro said. “Got him on the bridge of the nose.”

Royals starter Brady Singer talked with Isbel in the clubhouse.

“He’s in really good spirits,” Singer said. “He’s as tough as a bull. so I expect him to be back quick.”

Dairon Blanco pinch-hit for Isbel and put the Royals ahead 3-2 on a sacrifice fly.

Velázquez had a second-inning homer and Bobby Witt Jr. extended his hitting streak to a season-high eight games with an RBI single off Aaron Civale in the third.

Kansas City reliever Chris Stratton got the first out in the seventh with a nifty reach behind-the-back grab on Amed Rosario’s comeback. The right-hander then hit a batter and issued a walk, and was replaced by Angel Zerpa, who allowed pinch-hitter Harold Ramírez’s game-tying RBI single.

Kansas City’s Hunter Renfroe hit a towering fly with a runner on second and two outs in the ninth that Ramírez lost sight of in left field, but center fielder Jose Siri was backing up the play and made the catch.

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Jonathan Aranda hit a solo homer in fourth off Royals Singer.

Both Civale and Singer gave up two runs and four hits over five innings.

Royals RHP Michael Wacha (4-4. 4.35 ERA) and Rays RHP Taj Bradley (1-2, 4.00 ERA) are Sunday’s starters. First pitch is at 12:40 p.m. as the Royals look to complete their third straight sweep.

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