. UP NEXT
What's new: After battling back into contention, the Royals have hit the skids in a hurry, dropping seven of eight and 10 of 13. The starting pitching, so strong much of the season, has been part of the decline, along with an injury to OF Lorenzo Cain. Their bullpen remains one of the game's best. Former Rays INF Elliot Johnson was let go, Miguel Tejada injured and suspended. OF Justin Maxwell and INFs Emilio Bonifacio and Jamey Carroll have been added.
Key stat: Greg Holland has converted an AL-best 27 consecutive saves.
Connections: Royals RHPs James Shields and Wade Davis and pitching coach Dave Eiland are ex-Rays. … Tampa Bay OF David DeJesus, RHPs Joel Peralta and Jamey Wright are ex-Royals, OF Wil Myers was a top prospect.
Series history: Royals lead 5-1 this season, 31-26 in K.C.; Rays up 68-57 overall.
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer