Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays game preview

Ross Houston
August 9, 2016

Royals reliever Joakim Soria suffered his fourth blown save of the year after Brad Miller hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Thursday.

Desmond Jennings, who returned from the disabled list after missing 25 games with a hamstring injury, doubled to leftfield to start the eighth inning and save the Rays from being no-hit for the sixth time in franchise history, a number that includes three flawless games. The Rays had won four straight coming into the series, but managed one hit in the series opener and went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position in Tuesday's 3-2 loss. The Rays hit for the cycle in their first seven at-bats Wednesday - double, single, home run, triple - so almost anything from Kennedy will be a step in the right direction.

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Brad Miller will likely make a transition to first base in the next few days after recently acquired infielder Matt Duffy returns from a rehab assignment.

"In my view it was a good pitch". With no play at first, Mondesi threw to third, but Kiermaier was safe.

Volquez gave up 11 hits in five-plus innings. The Royals had an opportunity to do more damage with a runner on in the fifth but Kiermaier robbed Hosmer of an extra-base hit with a diving catch in deep center field.

"We're lucky to have him, and it doesn't matter where plays", Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.

Tampa Bay was quieted Ventura for four innings, stranding six runners with opportunity after opportunity snuffed out.

"Being where I was in San Francisco, I was committed to be the best third baseman I could, and that was kind of my focus, and I really just kind of bore down on that", said Duffy, who will keep his No. 5.

Duffy was a high school freshman in Southern California thrilled to be getting some infield pointers from a coach at the local college when one of Long Beach State's star players asked if he could join in to get some work on turning double plays. Seung Hwan Oh (2-2) escaped a bases-loaded threat in the eighth, but gave up a pair of singles to start the ninth.

Boxberger earned the win, his first of the season, while Colome got his 26th save.

"The footwork is going to be a little quicker, and I guess my mental clock is going to have to be sped up a little bit", Duffy said, "so there's going to be a little bit of an adjustment period". "I came back [in the clubhouse] and I saw [the replay]".

Reliever Chris Young (3-8) followed Ventura and pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win.

"It's definitely not a bad thing to go back to shortstop", Duffy said. Cobb threw two scoreless innings for Charlotte on Friday. The Rays claimed C Bobby Wilson off waivers from the Texas Rangers and optioned Curt Casali to Triple-A Durham.

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