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Rays 7, Royals 2: Fourth-straight series win

McClanahan worked five shutout innings while Meadows brought home four runs.

Kansas City Royals v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Rays had their winning streak snapped on Monday but found themselves back in the win column to even the series up against the Royals. This afternoon’s rubber match has Shane McClanahan on the mound against Kansas City’s Brady Singer.

McClanahan opened the game up with a scoreless first inning, striking out Andrew Benintendi to end the top half of the first.

Brandon Lowe was hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom of the first. After stealing second base, Ji-Man Choi drew a walk to put two on for Austin Meadows. Meadows scored both runners with a triple to give the Rays an early 2-0 lead over the Royals. After a fielder’s choice by Royals infielder Adalberto Mondesi, Meadows scored to make it 3-0. Joey Wendle was caught stealing and Taylor Walls flew out to end the inning.

McClanahan recorded two more strikeouts in the top of the second, and he received some more run support in the bottom of the of the third. Brandon Lowe once again reached base, this time via a walk, and he was once again driven home by Austin Meadows, except this time Meadows launched a two-run home run into the right field seats to make it 5-0 Rays.

Meadows sent the ball 366 feet after it left his bat at 96 mph. The runs didn’t stop after the home run, as Joey Wendle hit a double and was brought home on a Taylor Walls RBI single. Walls’ single marked the end of Brady Singer’s day, he allowed six runs on four hits with only 2.2 innings pitched. Jakob Junis was brought in to relieve Singer and got out of the inning.

After striking out two more batters in the top of the fourth, McClanahan received even more run support in the bottom-half of the inning. Kevin Kiermaier led off with a single and moved to third on a Brett Phillips single. Kiermaier scored on a sacrifice fly by Randy Arozarena to extend the lead to 7-0. Junis escaped a bases-loaded jam to end the inning.

McClanahan worked his fifth shutout inning, recording his sixth strikeout. In the sixth, Michael Wacha was brought in to relieve McClanahan after a strong five innings of work. McClanahan allowed only three hits while throwing 63 pitches with no walks or runs allowed.

Wacha allowed a two-run home run in the top of the sixth but recorded a strikeout en route to ending the inning. He recorded his second strikeout in the top of the seventh, this time not allowing any runs. Things got dicey for Wacha in the top of the eighth after he allowed back-to-back one-out singles, but he escaped with an inning-ending double play to not allow any runs.

The Royals brought out Wade Davis and Ervin Santana to pitch three innings after Junis and both relievers were effective in finally quieting the Rays offense. Thankfully, seven early runs help make that a non-issue.

Collin McHugh entered in the top of the ninth to try and record the save and secure the series win. McHugh struck out Salvador Perez for the first out. Jarrod Dyson singled and Nicky Lopez drew a 10-pitch walk to put two runners on for the Royals. After a mound visit, McHugh struck out Kelvin Gutierrez on three pitches. Jorge Soler grounded out to end this one and give the Rays the series win.

The Rays won their fourth-straight series and head into the weekend 32-20. The Philadelphia Phillies come to town for a two-game weekend series with first pitch for Saturday’s game scheduled for 1:10 pm. Ryan Yarbrough will take the mound for the Rays while Zack Wheeler starts for the Phillies.