They turned a rare and bizarre triple play, but it wasn’t enough to keep them from losing 8-2 to the Devil Rays Sunday.
Carl Crawford and Jonny Gomes both had multi home run games. Tampa Bay also got home runs from Julio Lugo and Aubrey Huff. The six homers tied a Devil Rays franchise record for homers in a game also set Aug. 10, 2002, against the Royals.
The triple play came in the second inning after the first of Gomes’ home runs. With runners on first and third, Russell Branyan hit a sacrifice fly to center. David DeJesus caught the ball and threw it home. The throw was off target and Huff scored on the play.
Starting pitcher Scott Elarton was alertly backing up catcher Paul Bako. Elarton threw out Rocco Baldelli trying to reach second base. Angel Berroa applied the tag and quickly threw the ball to third. Mark Teahen caught the ball, tagged the base, and appealed to the umpire that Huff left early on the sacrifice. The umpires agreed and the triple play was made.
Nevertheless, Tampa Bay kept on chugging scoring in every inning except the first and the fifth.
Crawford’s two-run homer in the third gave the Devil Rays a 3-0 lead.
The Royals put themselves in good position to score in third but like always they came up short. Cleanup hitter Matt Stairs did anything but clean up hitting into an inning ending double play with the bases loaded.
Kansas City avoided being shut out with two runs in the seventh. Mark Grudzielanek singled to right scoring Berroa. Bako later scored on Doug Mientkiewicz fielder’s choice.
Not that they needed it or anything but Tampa Bay got insurance runs in the eighth and ninth putting away any hopes of a Royals comeback.
Elarton didn’t last long in his eighth loss this year. He allowed four runs on eight hits in just 4.2 innings. The Royals bullpen didn’t fair much better. Elarton’s replacement, Jimmy Gobble, gave up two solo home runs and six hits in 2.2 innings. Joel Peralta finished the game on the mound for Kansas City giving up two more runs in 1.2 innings. All three pitchers surrendered at least one homer.
The Royals, losers in three of their last 10, fall to 16-45. They’re now 2-13 against teams in the American League East.