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' five-game win streak ends with 3-2 loss to Kansas City Royals

ST. PETERSBURG — Royals right-hander Brian Bannister did Friday night what very few have done this season: stifle the Rays' red-hot bats.

Then his teammates pulled off another rare feat: handing closer Rafael Soriano a sour outing.

Despite another strong start by Jeff Niemann, the Rays were held to just four hits in a 3-2 loss to Kansas City in front of 25,195 at Tropicana Field, snapping their five-game winning streak.

"It was a win here in the house of horrors," quipped Royals manager Trey Hillman.

But with all the Rays talk about getting off to a great start, they did cap their third-best month in club history at 17-6 — and the majors' best April since the 2003 Yankees (21-6). While their bats were quiet Friday, the Rays displayed some of the same traits that brought them the majors' best record: sharp starting pitching, sizzling defense and a fight-until-the-last-out approach.

"We just lost the game," manager Joe Maddon said. "If we give that kind of effort on a nightly basis, I'd be very happy. We played great defense. We grinded out at-bats. If we approach each game like that on a consistent basis, I'd take it, and it will result in many wins."

The game was lost in the ninth, which began with the score 1-1. Lefty Randy Choate, who had gotten two big outs in the top of the eighth, leaped to field a chopper by Scott Podsednik but bobbled it as he rushed to get it out of his glove, resulting in an error.

"Ninety-nine times out of 100, I make that play," Choate said.

In came Soriano, who is 5-for-5 in save situations. But he gave up three hits and allowed two runs to score (one charged to him) and hit a batter. "To me, just treat it as one bad game," Soriano said. "Just keep going tomorrow. You can't win every day."

Royals closer Joakim Soria had a rough ninth as well, giving up a single and a walk before Evan Longoria came oh-so-close to his second homer of the game. But Podsednik leaped to make the catch at the leftfield wall.

"I put my hands up and quickly put them back down," Rays first baseman Carlos Peña said. "I thought off the bat that was gone."

Said Podsednik: "I thought it could have gone either way off the bat. Luckily, it found my glove."

The Rays, who had scored 71 runs over the previous eight games, were shut down by Bannister, who showed great command, kept the ball down and pitched efficiently inside.

"Seriously, I can't imagine a guy doing a better job than Brian Bannister of cooling bats off," Hillman said.

And Maddon couldn't imagine the Rays playing better defense. Peña made a diving grab on a grounder down the first-base line on the first batter of the game and made a spectacular catch in the fourth, flipping over the dugout rail before getting saved by his teammates. Leftfielder Carl Crawford added a sliding catch in the fifth, and Longoria made a great charging play at third on a David DeJesus' slow grounder in the eighth.

The defense "has been great," said Niemann, who gave up one run in 7⅓ innings. "It's been kind of a continuing theme. It's helped out us as pitchers. They're taking an inning off the game by playing the way they are."

Joe Smith can be reached at

Royals 3

Rays 2


Best months

in Rays history

June 2004 20-6 .769

August 2008 21-7 .750

April 2010 17-6 .739

May 2008 19-10 .650

June 2008 16-10 .615


Best months

in Rays history

June 2004 20-6 .769

August 2008 21-7 .750

April 2010 17-6 .739

May 2008 19-10 .650

June 2008 16-10 .615

Tampa Bay Rays' five-game win streak ends with 3-2 loss to Kansas City Royals 04/30/10 [Last modified: Saturday, May 1, 2010 12:25am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    You wonder if the scouting reports and/or workload are catching up to rookie RHP Jake Faria. The bottom line wasn't bad again, three runs in 51/3 innings, but he's having to work harder to get there.

  3. Rays journal: Chris Archer eager for eventful final stretch

    The Heater

    TORONTO — RHP Chris Archer takes the mound today for the Rays as they head into the final 40 games of the season with little margin for error as they battle for an American League playoff spot.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) takes a moment on the mound in the second inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, August 6, 2017.
  4. Tim Tebow's slump continues, as does fan support


    CLEARWATER — On July 29, playing against the Charlotte Stone Crabs, Tim Tebow smacked a mammoth three-run homer, helping the St. Lucie Mets cruise to a 10-3 victory at Charlotte Sports Park.

    St. Lucie’s Tim Tebow, shown Monday at Spectrum Field, struggled at the plate Wednesday against the Threshers.
  5. Rays at Blue Jays, 4:07 p.m. Thursday

    The Heater

    Today: at Blue Jays

    4:07, Rogers Centre, Toronto

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Rays info: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Chris Archer (8-7, 3.84)

    JAYS: RH Chris Rowley (1-0, 1.69)