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Royals score late, beat Rays to end 4-game skid

Jul 23, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA;  Kansas City Royals catcher MJ Melendez (1) celebrates in the dugout after scoring a run during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Michael A. Taylor slugged a tiebreaking solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning Saturday night as the Kansas City Royals broke their four-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays.

Inserted in the sixth inning as a pinch hitter, Taylor belted a curveball from Ryan Yarbrough (0-5) a Statcast-estimated 407 feet to left-center for his sixth homer to snap a 3-3 tie.

Three batters later, Bobby Witt Jr. went 411 feet for a two-run shot to left, his 14th. The shortstop went 2-for-5 with a double, two runs, three RBIs and a stolen base.

Whit Merrifield was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. MJ Melendez (double, run) and Nicky Lopez (run) had two hits.

Brady Singer received a no-decision after opening with five no-hit innings. In six-plus frames, he allowed three hits, two runs (one earned) and two walks. He set a career-high with 12 strikeouts.

Scott Barlow (4-2) closed with two scoreless innings.

Losing for just the second time in the past nine games, the Rays saw Roman Quinn go 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs. Francisco Mejia was 2-for-4 with a run.

Starter Luis Patino was hit hard by the Royals, yielding three runs on seven hits in four innings. He walked three and struck out three.

After the Rays won the series opener 7-3 on Friday night, the 22-year-old Patino escaped a jam in a 19-pitch first inning.

But in the third, the Royals broke through, scoring three times. Consecutive doubles by Melendez and Witt put the them on the board, then Merrifield’s two-out, two-run double increased the lead to 3-0.

The speedy Quinn, in his first start for the Rays, broke up Singer’s no-hit bid with a leadoff drag bunt toward first in the sixth. The close play survived a challenge by Kansas City.

The Rays went on to score an unearned run with the help of Witt’s throwing error, which sent Yandy Diaz to second after Quinn was forced at second. Diaz scored two batters later on Luke Raley’s hard single to right.

After Singer left in the seventh, Quinn ripped a two-run triple down the line in right to tie the game at 3.

Left fielder Randy Arozarena kept it tied when he threw out the Royals’ Hunter Dozier at the plate to end the home half of the frame.

–Field Level Media