Saturday, June 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Ex-teammate Davis strong as Rays fall to Royals

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays will soon see what kind of impact Wil Myers will have on their lineup.

But so far, the blockbuster offseason trade to Kansas City for the prized outfield prospect has been a bit one-sided, as the three players the Rays shipped away have come back to beat them.

On Sunday, it was Wade Davis who pitched six strong innings in lifting the Royals to a 5-3 victory over Tampa Bay in front of a Father's Day crowd of 27,422 at Tropicana Field.

Davis joined fellow right-hander James Shields (April 30) in picking up victories against the Rays, with infielder Elliot Johnson hitting safely in all six games against his former team and batting .434.

"It just means that they were trained well," Rays manager Joe Maddon said with a smile.

The Rays (36-33) have lost six of their past eight and went 4-6 on a disappointing homestand, with a much-needed off day today before starting a seven-game trip to Boston and New York. Maddon gave credit to the red-hot Royals (33-34), who have won 10 of their past 12 and "outplayed" the Rays during the four-game series. But that didn't make the struggles easier to swallow.

"It's no fun," Maddon said. "We should be better than that at home. We had plenty of opportunities to win more games. We have to be more consistent. There's no consistency to all areas of the game on a nightly basis."

The Rays had Davis on the ropes during a 35-pitch first inning, scoring two runs and loading the bases. But after Jose Molina flied out to thwart the threat, Davis retired 15 of the 17 batters he faced over the next five innings.

"I just tried to keep the game right where it was," Davis said. "It was just a matter of taking a deep breath and keeping the ball down and getting some quick outs."

Maddon thought Roberto Hernandez wasn't as sharp as his past couple of starts but "was good enough to win." Hernandez was charged with four runs on nine hits in 5⅔ innings, saying he made "two bad pitches," a tying solo homer by Jeff Francoeur in the fifth and — after intentionally walking Francoeur in the sixth — a go-ahead, two-out RBI single by Alcides Escobar, the No. 9 hitter.

It wasn't a sharp game by the Rays overall, with three wild pitches, a dropped fly ball by leftfielder Luke Scott, another passed ball by Molina and a bobbled grounder by third baseman Kelly Johnson. Johnson said after the intense Red Sox series, the Royals series felt like a "hangover series."

"Not a ton of energy, not a ton of life, unfortunately," Johnson said. "There's always going to be some spots like that, but we've got to turn it around quickly."

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