Eric Skoglund gave up RBI singles to Matt Duffy in the first and sixth innings as the Royals lost 2-1 to the Rays at Kaufmann Stadium.  Skoglund went seven-and-two-thirds, but fell to 1-and-3 with the tough-luck loss.  Whit Merrifield’s hit a solo homer for the Royals’ lone run.

All Skoglund came away with was an outing to rest the bullpen:

Duffy went 3-for-4 with the pair of RBI-singles as Ryan Yarbrough tossed five innings of one-run ball to up his record to 3-and-2.  Alex Colome pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save.  Merrifield finished 3-for-4 with a solo homer in the third inning for KC’s only run.

The Royals and Rays play the second of their three-game series tonight at “The K.”  Ian Kennedy will start for KC.  He’s 1-and-4 with a 4.61 ERA.  Anthony Banda makes his Tampa Bay debut.  The Royals are 13-and-28, seven-and-a-half games out of first in the AL Central.