Royals' Keller roughed up again in loss to Rays
After one good outing and a win, Kansas City Royals pitcher Brad Keller reverted to his form in his first two starts of the season.
Brandon Lowe, Austin Meadows and Mike Zunino homered and the Tampa Bay Rays pounded out 17 hits in a 14-7 rout of the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
Meadows, Randy Arozarena and Joey Wendle had three hits each, and Manual Margot and Yoshi Tsutsugo had three RBIs apiece as the Rays won their fifth straight. Tampa Bay entered the game hitting .220 as a team, just 23rd in the majors.
"We needed it," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
The Rays roughed up Keller (1-2) for five runs in 1 2/3 innings. Keller, who had allowed just one run in 5 2/3 innings in his last start against the Angels, allowed three hits and walked three, including Lowe to load the bases on his final pitch. He was also victim to a pair of errors.
"Tough, I can't pick up my defense when I walk three guys in an inning," said Keller, whose ERA went from 9.58 to 12.00. "I was trying to do too much."
Jake Newberry relieved and walked the next two batters to give Tampa Bay a 5-0 advantage.
"We came out and set the tone early on and got to Keller quickly," Cash said. "We got some early runs with some good at-bats, not a lot of damage, but a lot of walks, taking advantage of count control."
Carlos Santana homered and doubled and had three RBIs for the Royals, who managed to keep it close until the sixth inning.
"We've got a number of guys that are putting together good at-bats, but (Santana) is at the top," Royals manager Mike Matheny said. "It'd be nice to get all the bats going at the same time."
Tampa Bay rattled off another four-run inning in the sixth sparked by five straight hits from the heart of the batting order.
"As much as people want to talk about our pitching, but our hitting is pretty good, too," Lowe said.
Rich Hill allowed four runs in two innings for Tampa Bay. Andrew Kittredge (3-0) followed with a scoreless inning, and Trevor Richards pitched one-run ball over the last three innings for his first career save.
Zunino and Meadows hit back-to-back homers in the three-run ninth.
Rays: RHP Cody Reed (left thumb weakness) was placed on the 10-day IL. Tampa Bay recalled RHP Brent Honeywell Jr. from the alternate training site. Honeywell tossed 1 1/3 innings, allowing one run, two hits and two walks.
Royals: Kansas City has had only three players spend time on the injured list this season. RHP Josh Staumont spent one day on the IL for a non-disclosed injury.
Jacob Junis (1-0, 1.50) will take the mound for Kansas City in the series finale Wednesday night. The Rays will send former Cardinal Michael Wacha (1-1, 4.20) to the hill.