KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Brendan Harris and Delmon Young drove in two runs apiece and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays snapped an 11-game losing streak with a 6-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Winless since beating the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 24, the Devil Rays shed the longest losing streak in the majors this year by beating the team they’ve had the most success against in their 10-year history. It was their longest losing streak since a 12-game skid in 2004 that also ended in Kansas City.
It was also Tampa Bay’s second victory in its last 23 July road games dating to July 29, 2005, but the 12th victory in the last 15 meetings with the Royals.
James Shields (7-4), who opened the season 6-0, went seven strong innings but faltered in the eighth when the Royals scored three. In 7 2-3 innings, he was charged with four runs and seven hits, with six strikeouts and no walks to win for the first time in his last five starts.
He was relieved by Casey Fossum after the Royals scored twice on Mark Teahen’s sacrifice fly and Ross Gload’s RBI double. Alex Gordon greeted Fossum with an RBI single that made it 6-4.
Gary Glover came in to pitch the ninth in place of closer Al Reyes, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a mild rotator cuff strain. Glover gave up John Buck’s solo homer and an infield single to Joey Gathright before getting three flyball outs for his first major league save since May 1, 2002.
Odalis Perez (4-8) gave up 10 hits and five runs in six innings and dropped to 1-5 in nine starts at home. The right-hander has only one win in his last six starts.
Akinori Iwamura doubled leading off the game and scored on Harris’ single, then Carlos Pena’s RBI single made it 2-0 in the first.
Gathright had an RBI double in the second before Carl Crawford doubled in the third and scored on a double by Young, making it 3-1. Young also had an RBI double in the seventh and was 3-for-5.
In the fifth, Crawford drew the only walk Perez issued, stole second, took third on catcher Buck’s throwing error and made it 4-1 on Harris’ single.
Raul Casanova’s sacrifice fly put the Devil Rays on top 5-1 in the sixth.
Royals manager Buddy Bell was ejected by home plate umpire Tom Hallion in the top of the ninth for apparently arguing balls and strikes.
Notes: The Devil Rays are 18-18 at Kauffman Stadium. … Royals DH Mike Sweeney is expected to be out at least a month following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Thursday. … Tampa pitching coach Jim Hickey may rejoin the team on Saturday. He’s missed almost two weeks after surgery to reattach the retina in his right eye. … C Dioner Navarro was back with the Devil Rays but still sore after a painful collision at first base with Boston pitcher Josh Beckett on Thursday. … Shields is 3-0 in three career starts against the Royals.