Wednesday evening the Royals gave up five runs in the bottom of the ninth to Tampa Bay in an 8-7 loss that spoiled a five RBI effort by centerfielder Melky Cabrera. Still slowed from an injury obtained last week, Cabrera's sac fly in the fifth gave Kansas City a 3-0 lead, and another sac fly in the seventh inning gave the Royals a little more breathing room at 4-2. Then in the ninth inning to cap off his evening Cabrera went deep facing Rays pitcher Jake McGee for a three-run shot that made the score 7-3. The Melkman, as he is called, is now batting .306 with 14 home runs and 67 RBI in his first season with the Royals.
The Royals got a solid major league debut from Salvador Perez both behind the plate and in the batters box. Perez picked Casey Kotchman off first base in the fourth inning, and then would later catch Sam Fuld off third base. At the plate Perez was 1-for-3 with a RBI sacrifice fly. During the top of the ninth he just missed belting his first career home run when he fly out to the wall in left facing Rays pitcher Brandon Gomes.
Johnny Giavotella and Alcides Escobar would contribute to the Royals efforts with two hits a piece. Escobar had two doubles, giving him 18 for the season. He is now batting .251, also picking up his 16th stolen base of the year.
On the mound Felipe Paulino gave the Royals five inning of three hit baseball as the Rays scored just one run against the big Venezuelan.
With the home run by Cabrera, closer Joakim Soria took a seat and Aaron Crow hustled to get loose and enter the game in the bottom of the ninth. Crow would give up leadoff singles to Matt Joyce and Johnny Damon before he was pulled by Ned Yost in favor of Soria.
Evan Longoria doubled to score one run after Soria entered. Ben Zobrist gounded out to second base, but would drive in another run to make it 7-5.
An infield single and RBI by Kotchman drew the Rays closer at 7-6, but alas Soria would strike out B.J. Upton giving the Rays two outs and hope of a victory. However Sam Fuld had other ideas as he hit an RBI triple and scored on an error for a walk off 8-7 victory in which they scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth.
Kansas City falls to 49-68 as Soria falls to 5-5 in taking the loss.