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RECAP: Kansas City Royals snap Tampa Bay Rays’ 11-game winning streak

May 25, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Brad Keller (56) throws a pitch during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Keller outdueled Rich Hill as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Rays 2-1 Tuesday night in Tampa.

The loss snapped an 11-game winning streak for the Rays, who fell one game short of matching the franchise record for consecutive wins, set in 2004.

It was the Royals’ fifth win in their last six games. Eleven of the Royals’ last 13 games have been decided by one or two runs.

Keller (4-4) pitched a season-high seven innings and tied his season best with seven strikeouts. He allowed just one run on four hits, walking four.

Kyle Zimmer picked up his second save.

The Royals welcomed back shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, who missed the first 45 games with a strained right oblique. He was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles Tuesday.

Hill (3-2) struck out a career-high 13 and did not walk a batter. He struck out Whit Merrifield looking (on three pitches) in the first inning. His previous career high in strikeouts was 11.

Hill allowed two runs on six hits in eight innings. He was aided by two spectacular plays by center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who robbed Andrew Benintendi of extra-base hits twice.

But the Rays couldn’t muster enough runs off Keller to reward Hill.

The Rays grabbed the lead in the bottom of the third. Brett Phillips led off with a hit off Keller’s glove, and Yandy Diaz drove in Phillips with a two-out single.

The Royals’ first hit resulted in their first run of the game as Carlos Santana hit the 250th home run of his career with one out in the fourth inning.

The Royals got a run off Hill in the sixth. Cam Gallagher and Merrifield started the inning with singles. After Hill struck out Santana, Salvador Perez pulled a single down the left-field line, scoring Gallagher. Hill struck out the next two batters to avoid further trouble.

–Field Level Media