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(Wednesday, April 9th)
Final Score: Kansas City 7, Tampa Bay 3
Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Gordon hit a three-run homer to power the Kansas City Royals to a 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Wednesday's rubber match of a three-game series.
Gordon finished 2-for-4 with four RBI for the Royals, who have won four of six. Nori Aoki, Johnny Giavotella and Billy Butler added an RBI apiece.
Gordon's homer was the first of the season for Kansas City.
Jeremy Guthrie (2-0) hurled a stellar seven frames, allowing a run on four hits, one walk and fanning four.
Desmond Jennings went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI and Ryan Hanigan added an RBI for the Rays, who have lost three of four.
Tampa starter Jake Odorizzi (1-1) got knocked around for seven runs on 10 hits through five innings of work.
After three scoreless innings, Jennings' leadoff blast to left-center field got the Rays on the board in top of fourth.
"We weren't putting up the runs and our pitching staff was doing a great job, so we're going to keep grinding away and eventually I think it's going to come through," said Gordon. "It's early on and we got a good offense. I believe in our offense."
Kansas City answered in the bottom half with two runs. Back-to-back singles by Giavotella and Eric Hosmer to start the inning, preceded a groundout by Butler that scored Giavotella. Gordon then singled up the middle to bring Hosmer in to score.
"I still like our at-bats for the most part. We hit some balls well again today," said Tampa manager Joe Maddon. "It's one of those moments you keep fighting through and it'll come back to you, we're good. They got us, they played really well against us here for the last couple of years and you've got to give them credit."
The Royals kept rolling with a five-run fifth inning. Aoki tripled to plate Lorenzo Cain, who led off with an infield single. Giavotella then hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Aoki. Then with two-outs, Hosmer and Butler hit back-to-back singles before Gordon smacked his three-run homer to right field, which made the score to 7-1.
Hosmer finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
The Rays got two runs back in the ninth. Brandon Guyer led off with a double and raced home on Jennings' double. Jennings scored on Hanigan's groundout.
The Rays left six men on base, compared to Kansas City with four ... The Royals travel to Minnesota to start a three-game set against the Twins on Friday ... Kansas City went 2-for-5 with runners in scoring position, while the Rays went 2-for-7 with RISP ... Tampa Bay faces the Reds in Cincinnati to open a three-game series on Friday.
04/09 21:19:50 ET