St. Petersburg, Fla The Kansas City Royals finally are having some success against Tampa Bay.
Alberto Callaspo hit a two-run double in the 11th inning, and Kansas City beat the Rays, 4-2, on Saturday night for its second consecutive victory over the AL East leaders.
Rays reliever Lance Cormier (2-1) retired the first two batters in the 11th before loading the bases on a single and two walks. Callaspo then doubled down the right-field line, scoring Scott Podsednik and Alex Gordon to give Kansas City the lead.
“I hit that ball good,” Callaspo said. “I was seeing him throw cutters and I was just looking for a cutter, and I got it.”
Kansas City, after going 1-9 against the Rays last season, has won two of the first three games in this four-game series. Robinson Tejeda (2-2) threw three scoreless innings for the Royals.
“Tremendous when we needed him to be tremendous,” manager Trey Hillman said. “He threw strikes, and he threw quality strikes.”
Joakim Soria worked out of a jam to earn his seventh save.
Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria opened the 11th with singles off Soria, putting runners on first and second. The Royals’ closer then ended the game by striking out Carlos Pena, B.J. Upton and Pat Burrell, sending the Rays to just their fourth loss in 18 games.
“At the end of the day, we expect to be on top,” Pena said. “We expect good things to happen. Let’s put this one behind us and we start fresh (today). It’s very important in a long season to learn how to brush off (losses).”
Tampa Bay’s David Price gave up two runs and four hits in six innings. The left-hander, coming off a four-hit shutout against Toronto last Sunday, threw 107 pitches.
“It’s a completely different ballgame if I don’t have those first two innings,” Price said. “My position players are out there standing with me throwing 55 pitches in the first two.”
Royals starter Kyle Davies also went six innings, allowing two runs and three hits. The right-hander struck out six and walked five.
Yuniesky Betancourt had an RBI groundout, and Chris Getz drove in a run with a bunt single as Kansas City took a 2-0 lead in the second. The Royals had just one baserunner — David DeJesus reached on a fifth-inning error — against Price over his final four innings.
Tampa Bay pulled within 2-1 on Reid Brignac’s run-scoring single in the second, then tied the game in the third when Carl Crawford scored on Longoria’s double-play grounder.
“We didn’t have a good offensive night the last two nights,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “They pitched well.”
Tampa Bay, which lost 3-2 to the Royals on Friday night, has 11 hits over the past two games.