St. Petersburg, Fla. Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost was at a loss for words after the Royals blew a late four-run lead.
Sam Fuld hit a game-tying triple and then scored on an errant throw to complete a five-run ninth as the Tampa Bay Rays rallied to beat the Royals, 8-7, on Wednesday night.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Yost said.
Fuld hit a drive to right center off closer Joakim Soria (5-5) and wound up scoring the running run when second baseman Johnny Giavotella was charged with an error for a bad relay throw to third.
“It was the craziest 360 feet I’ve ever run,” Fuld said.
After Aaron Crow gave up consecutive singles in the ninth, Soria entered and gave up an RBI double to Evan Longoria, a run-scoring grounder by Ben Zobrist and Casey Kotchman’s RBI infield single before Fuld’s two-out hit. Soria has blown seven saves in 28 opportunities this season.
“It wasn’t a save situation ... Thought we could get through the ninth with Aaron,” Yost said. “We knew if two guys got on, (Soria) was coming into the game.”
Salvador Perez got his first career hit, RBI and made several key defensive plays in his major league debut and Melky Cabrera homered and drove in a career-high tying five runs for Kansas City.
“He was really spectacular,” Yost said of Perez. “He had a great debut.”
The Royals purchased the contract of the highly-regarded catcher from Triple-A Omaha. The 21-year old had a seventh-inning single in three at-bats and added a sacrifice fly. He also picked Kotchman off first during the fourth and Fuld at third in the eighth.
Cabrera had a pair of sacrifice flys and extended the lead to 7-3 with a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth off Jake McGee (1-1).
The Royals placed catcher Brayan Pena on the paternity leave list and put pitcher Kyle Davies on unconditional release waivers. Pena is expected to rejoin the team Friday.