Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays blow lead, lose 5-4 to Kansas City Royals in 10 innings

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Rays appeared to be quite right about Desmond Jennings, who made an electrifying season debut Saturday.

But the night ended up once again being about all they did wrong, losing another game they had ample opportunities to win, 5-4 in 10 innings to the Royals.

Closer Kyle Farnsworth blew a one-run lead with two outs in the ninth, the hitters showed more staggering futility as they loaded the bases to start the 10th and got nothing out of it, then Brandon Gomes lost it on just two pitches.

Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged before the game the Rays (52-47) were in a "kind of limbo position" regarding their postseason possibilities and the looming trade deadline, and a second straight loss to the lowly Royals didn't help as they stayed 6½ games behind the wild-card-leading Yankees and dropped 9½ behind the first-place Red Sox in the AL East.

"This is a game that we had, we had so many different ways, and we did not win it," Maddon said. "Can't do that. Can't do that."

"We should have won it," said centerfielder B.J. Upton, whose fate could be most affected by a fall from the race. "Bottom line."

With Jennings tripling and doubling in his first two at-bats, then later showing his blazing speed by scoring from first on a routine double, the Rays took a 4-3 lead into the ninth and seemed set to reward Jeff Niemann for his solid six-inning outing in the sweltering heat (101 degrees at first pitch, feels-like of 105).

But Farnsworth failed first, allowing a one-out walk and a two-out double to Alex Gordon to tie it, blowing his fourth save.

Evan Longoria and Upton walked to open the 10th and Matt Joyce singled, but Casey Kotchman grounded back to the mound, then both pinch-hitter Sam Fuld and Elliot Johnson went down looking at strike three from Joakim Soria.

Maddon said he "really believed" Fuld would at least put the ball in play. Johnson said he knew in retrospect he should have: "I've got to get the bat off my shoulder."

Those failures, though, are routine. They also had the bases loaded in the first and didn't score and the first two on in the fourth, leaving 11 on total, going 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position and striking out a season-high 15 times.

"Those are the things that are really biting us badly," Maddon said.

The end came quickly in the 10th, Billy Butler blooping a single on Gomes' first fastball and Eric Hosmer lining a double on his second.

"Certainly something we should have won," Johnson said.

Jennings at least provided a sense of excitement, which may be all the Rays have to offer in August and September. He reached his first four times up — two extra-base hits, two walks — showing off the athleticism and instincts the Rays believe can make him an impact player.

"Desmond had a wonderful day," Maddon said.

Jennings, who hit .190 in 17 games last season, will get the chance to play every day, primarily in leftfield (unless Upton is traded) and at least initially at the top of the order. He was promoted Friday night after hitting .275 with 12 homers, 39 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 89 games at Triple-A Durham.

Despite spending three seasons at Durham, accruing nearly 1,000 plate appearances (and hitting .283 with an .806 OPS), Jennings, 24, insisted he wasn't frustrated by the lack of progress or doubting his future.

"I figured I'd get here when they felt like it was time for me to be here," he said. "I feel as though I did enough for them to call me up. I wasn't frustrated at all. … You can only control what you can control. I wasn't really thinking about it. I was just playing in Durham. I was enjoying it. I'm glad I'm not there now."

Royals 5

Rays 4


Tampa Bay Rays blow lead, lose 5-4 to Kansas City Royals in 10 innings 07/23/11 [Last modified: Sunday, July 24, 2011 12:16am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 27: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates hitting a two-run home run as Derek Norris #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the eighth inning of the game on May 27, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 5-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010973
  2. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  3. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting


    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  4. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  5. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]