KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 15: Will Smith #53 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning on August 15, 2012 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Royals Vs. Rays: Kansas City Falls In Game 1 Against Tampa Bay

Kansas City will look to keep their strong play going as they head out on a seven-game East Coast road trip, beginning in Tampa Bay.

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Royals Vs. Rays Game Recap: Shields Takes Three-Hitter Into The Eighth In 5-3 Loss To Rays

Despite their best efforts to make a game of it in the eighth, the Kansas City Royals comeback fell just short as the team lost both the game, 5-3, and the series to the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday.

Manager Ned Yost tried to light a fire under his team in the top of the eight, getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes but the team could still only muster up two runs in the inning off a Alcides Escobar RBI triple followed by Alex Gordon bringing home the shortstop with a RBI single of his own.

The Rays would get one of the runs back in the bottom of the eight when Jose Libaton would homer off Aaron Crow.

James Shields chipped in a quality start for the Rays (7.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 7 K, 1 BB) while Luis Mendoza did exactly the opposite, allowing nine base runners in his 4.1 innings of work. Jeff Francoeur got Mendoza the lead early when his single scored Salvador Perez in the second but the Rays would answer with two runs in the third and never relinquish the lead again.

The Royals (55-68) now have Thursday off before heading to Boston for a four game series. Bruce Chen (9-10) will look to build off his last solid start against the White Sox against a Red Sox pitcher that has still yet to be determined.

For more Royals news, head on over to Royals Review.

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Luke Hochevar Shows Royals Best Stuff Of Career

There's no denying Kansas City Royals Luke Hochevar has had a disappointing career up to this point. But if you watched his start Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, you would have never guessed it as Hochevar's stuff was nearly flawless, allowing him to out-duel David Price with a incredible final line (8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 10 K).

Craig Brown of Royals Review does a masterful assessment of each of those 10 strikeouts for fans who really want to delve deeper into Hochevar's best start of his career. But if you just want the highlights, here's what you need to know:

  1. This was only the third time in his career that he's struck out at least 10 batters.
  2. This was the first time that he's reach double digit strikeouts and didn't allow a run.
  3. This is exactly what the Royals were hoping for from him when they selected him first overall out of the University of Tennessee back in 2006.
Hochevar threw 65 of his 105 pitches for strikes while showing an uncanny dominance of the strike zone. And while his ERA still sits at 4.95 for the season, Hochevar has been showing some real signs of life, registering a quality start in five of his last seven outings .

For more Kansas City Royals news, pay a visit to Royals Review.
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Royals Vs. Rays Final Score: Kansas City Slides Past Tampa Bay In 10 Innings, 1-0

Powered by a walk-off single from first baseman Eric Hosmer, the Kansas City Royals pulled off a thrilling 10-inning victory over Tampa Bay Tuesday night in game two of the series.

The 22-year-old Hosmer, buried in the No. 8 spot in the order due to his .235 average entering the day, was the only player on either side to finish with multiple hits. He also swiped his 12th base of the season off Tampa left-hander David Price early in the game, and proceeded to hand Rays reliever Joel Peralta his fifth loss with his game-winning hit to break the scoreless tie in the 10th.

Unfortunate to leave the stadium with a no-decision, Royals starter Luke Hochevar was downright masterful on a day when he may have featured the best pure stuff of his career. Hochevar yielded just one hit to Tampa hitters through eight innings of shutout ball, and fanned 10 batters with only three walks.

With the series knotted at one win apiece, the Royals will look to right-hander Luis Mendoza (7-8, 4.26 ERA) for Wednesday's third and final game.

Be sure to visit Royals Review for more Kansas City baseball news, and head over to DRays Bay for more on the Rays. Also visit Baseball Nation for even more coverage from around the league.

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