Bubic goes 7, Royals edge Rays to win series

Kansas City Royals' Hunter Dozier (17) is doused with water by Emmanuel Rivera, left, and MJ...
Kansas City Royals' Hunter Dozier (17) is doused with water by Emmanuel Rivera, left, and MJ Melendez as they celebrate a win over the Tampa Bay Rays during a baseball game Sunday, July 24, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)(Ed Zurga | AP)
Published: Jul. 24, 2022 at 4:45 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kris Bubic went seven strong innings, Hunter Dozier and MJ Melendez had late-inning RBIs and the Kansas City Royals beat Tampa Bay 4-2 on Sunday, winning a series against the Rays for the first time in five years.

Dozier snapped a 2-all tie with two outs in the seventh when he singled off Brooks Raley (1-1) to score Whit Merrifield. Melendez added an insurance run with a double down the left-field line in the eighth.

The Royals overcame the loss of Bobby Witt Jr. for their first series win against the Rays since 2017. They broke an 11-series losing streak to the American League East.

Bubic (2-6) tied with a season high by pitching seven innings. He gave up two runs on four hits, walked three and struck out four.

For the second straight game, the Royals lost a lead but found some timely hits late to prevail.

Witt hit an RBI single in the first inning, but exited the game before the next half-inning even started. The 22-year-old rookie stole second but then gingerly ran to third on a fly ball to center field and was removed with right hamstring tightness. He is considered day to day.

He has a hit in 14 of his last 16 games with 12 RBIs and eight stolen bases while hitting over .360 in that stretch.

Nick Pratto made it 2-0 in the second with a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Michael A. Taylor.

Tampa Bay responded, as Yandy Diaz hit a 434-foot homer to center field for his first since May 14. The Rays tied the game in the sixth on a sac fly by Luke Raley.

Taylor Clarke got his second save of the season.

ROSTER MOVES

Rays: Reinstated RHP Jeffrey Springs (right lower leg tightness) from the 15-day injured list and optioned RHP Luis Patino to Triple-A Durham.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: RHP Jonathan Heasley (right shoulder tendinitis) and LHP Daniel Lynch (blister) will begin rehab assignments in Triple-A Omaha.

UP NEXT

Tampa Bay will start a four-game series in Baltimore on Monday with right-hander Corey Kluber (6-5, 3.73 ERA) on the mound. The Royals continue their homestand when they host the Angels on Monday with right-hander Zack Greinke (3-6, 4.64 ERA) getting the start.

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