Mike Zunino got the headlines for the oh-so-cute storyline of hitting the tie-breaking homer that led to the Rays’ 6-3 win in his first gane back with the Rays following the Friday birth of his son Rhett.
Wilmer Font got the win for striking out one batter at the right time to end the seventh.
Emilio Pagan got the save for getting the final three outs.
But Yonny Chirinos did his part, too
And quite well..
Given the start as the Rays were again dealing with a shorthanded bullpen, Chirinos worked six solid innings. He allowed a career-high three solo home runs, which left the Rays behind until their three-run outburst in the seventh.
“I thought he threw the ball really well,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He left two or three pitches up that he would probably like to have back, but they were solo shots. We can stay in a ballgame with solo shots.
"He did such a good job of keeping the (Royals) speedsters off base because they can really run when they get on base. He limited damage and got deep in a ballgame for us which we needed.”
Chirinos, speaking through team translator Manny Navarro, said he appreciated the support from his teammates as he improved to 2-0, 2.00 ERA in three starts:
“I was happy about it. We’ve got a team that’s hungry and a team that battles day-in and day-out. You never know who’s going to come in and battle. But this team is hungry and it feels good.”
* The Rays beat the Royals for the ninth straight time, dating back to Aug 30, 2017 at KC, the best against them and third most against an opponent.
* The Rays outscored opponents 23-3 in first innings, and have scored in the first inning in 13 of 23 games.
* The Rays have homered in eight straight games, their longest streak since April 21-30, 2018.
* Tommy Pham's first-inning triple was his first extra base hit that wasn't a home run this (21 singles, four homers).
* Emilio Pagan worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his first career save in his 93rd career appearance.