St Petersburg, Fla. — Kansas City’s late offensive outburst cost James Shields more than a victory.
John Buck ended Shields’ bid for a no-hitter with a leadoff single in the eighth inning, Mitch Maier drove in three runs and the Royals beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-1, on Sunday.
Shields dominated the Royals before Buck’s hit started a two-run inning. Pinch-runner Ryan Freel advanced all the way to third when catcher Dioner Navarro made an errant throw to second on Alex Gordon’s fielder’s choice, and Maier drove him in with an infield single.
Gordon stole home later in the eighth when Maier got involved in a rundown, and Shields suddenly found himself in a 2-0 hole.
“He was very good,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said. “I was glad John broke that up and then, obviously, we caught a couple of breaks.”
Brian Bannister (7-7) gave up five hits and struck out seven over seven scoreless innings, giving the Royals their first win in nine games against Tampa Bay this season. Joakim Soria pitched the final two innings for his 18th save.
“If a guy takes a no-hitter into the eighth and you still beat him that day, then it’s a good team effort,” Bannister said. “We haven’t beaten this team at all this year, and so to win it that way was extra special.”