Matt Andriese pitched well enough to win. It's just that the Tampa Bay Rays have found it next to impossible to win recently at Kauffman Stadium.
Eric Hosmer hit a three-run homer after Lorenzo Cain drove in the go-ahead run in a four-run eighth inning and the Royals defeated the Rays 6-2 on Monday night.
The Royals have won four straight, matching their season best streak, and have scored 19 runs after the sixth innings in those victories.
The Rays are 1-13 at Kansas City since the start of the 2012 season. They have been outscored 99-40 during that span. Their lone victory was by 1-0 on April 8, 2014.
Andriese put the Rays in a position to pull out a rare victory over the defending World Series champions, giving up two runs, one earned, over seven innings.
"That's what we focus on as a staff, to go deep and give our team a chance to win," Andriese said. "You've got to look up at the scoreboard at the end of the day, but collectively if we're all going deep in the game, then more times than not we're going to come away with the win. We'll take today and move on to tomorrow.
"I've always believed in myself, and I know that I can go deep into games. But, today's kind of a tough loss for the team. I think coming back and tying it there in the eighth, it's just a couple pitches here or there. But, it's a tough lineup to face."
Cain's single scored Alcides Escobar with the first run of the inning before Hosmer took a pitch from Erasmo Ramirez (6-3) deep to right-center for his 10th home run. Hosmer has 10 RBIs in the first four games of this homestand.
"Cain took a good protective swing," Ramirez said. "He got good contact there through the right side. I made a high pitch to a great hitter like Hosmer, so he just made me pay about it. So, now I can do nothing about it."
Kelvin Herrera (1-1) blew the save, allowing a run in the eighth, but he picked up the victory. Steve Pearce scored from second on an infield single by Steven Souza Jr. to tie it at 2.
"He really made an awesome start for us," Rays manager Kevin Cash said of Andriese.
Royals starter Ian Kennedy walked a season-high five, including the bases loaded in the fifth, but limited the Rays to three singles and one unearned run over six innings. He has allowed two or fewer runs in eight of his 10 starts, lowering his ERA to 3.03.
Kennedy retired Logan Morrison on a pop up to shortstop to end the fifth. Kennedy also escaped a bases loaded jam in a 29-pitch first inning when he walked two. He struck out Souza looking to end the inning.
Kendrys Morales walked with one out in the Royals' second. Paulo Orlando, who had two hits and is batting a major league-leading .441 in May, doubled, moving Morales to third, where he scored on Cheslor Cuthbert's groundout.
The Rays tied it with an unearned run in the fourth. Morrison led off with a single, stole second, took third on catcher Drew Butera's throwing error and scored on Corey Dickerson's groundout to second baseman Whit Merrifield.
Jarrod Dyson produced a run with his speed in fifth. Dyson singled to center and when Desmond Jennings had difficulties picking up the ball, Dyson motored to second, just beating the throw. Dyson stole third and when catcher Hank Conger's throw landed in left field he trotted home.
Rays: Pearce left after seven innings with a right elbow irritation. "I've been dealing with it for a while," Pearce said. "It just flared up a little bit." ... RHP Ryan Webb was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Friday, with a right pectoral strain. ... RHP Brad Boxberger, who had surgery March 17 to repair a torn adductor brevis muscle, was reinstated from the DL.
Royals: C Salvador Perez missed his second straight game with a bruised quad.
Rays SS Brad Miller, who has committed four errors in his past nine games including a throwing miscue in the sixth inning Sunday to end RHP Jake Odorizzi's perfect game bid against the Yankees, did not start. He came in in the eighth inning and promptly committed another error, botching a grounder by Orlando.
Rays: LHP Drew Smyly, who starts Tuesday, was a college teammate of Royals OF Brett Eibner at Arkansas.
Royals: RHP Dillon Gee has never faced the Rays, leaving just the Red Sox, Indians and Mets as teams he has never pitched against.