The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Kansas City Royals 8-5 on Monday night as Nate Lowe doubled and scored a run in his major league debut.
In his 5.2 innings of work, Chirinos was charged for four runs but only two were earned. He allowed just two hits while striking out four and walking two.
The win improves the Rays to 10 games over .500 at 19-9 and they have now won five of their last six on the heels of a season high four game losing streak. Tampa Bay has won 10 of their first 12 road games this season.
Brad Keller (2-3, 4.07 ERA) worked five innings allowing five earned runs on six hits while walking three and striking out one. With the loss the Royals fall to 9-20 on the season.
The Rays continue to jump on the opposition early in games. In the first inning Yandy Diaz delivered a 2-out RBI single to score Ji-Man Choi who returned to the lineup after missing the last six games with a calf injury. Choi had drawn a two out walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, and advanced to third on a Keller balk. Tampa Bay has outscored opponents 29-4 in the first inning this season.
Tampa Bay extended its lead to 4-0 in the top of the second inning. With one out Brad Keller hit Kevin Kiermaier with a pitch and Daniel Robertson followed with a single to move Kiermaier to third. Michael Perez sent a long fly ball to center that turned Chris Owings around dropping safely to the ground and allowing Kiermaier to score and Roberston to get to third.
Brandon Lowe sent a groundball to Adalberto Mondesi who threw home to nab Daniel Robertson for the second out but Kansas City could not avoid further damage when Tommy Pham tripled to drive in both Perez and Lowe to give the Rays a 4-0 lead.
Things started to unravel a bit on Yonny Chirinos in the third. Following an error by Daniel Robertson on a soft pop up by Martin Maldonado Chirinos walked Whit Merrifield. Mondesi followed with a triple to score both Maldanado and Merrifeld. He came in on a sacrifice fly that cut the Rays lead to 4-3.
Chirinos settled down and working the fourth through sixth innings quickly and effectively. Yandy Diaz delivered a RBI single, his second of the game, in the fifth inning scoring Brandon Lowe and pushing the Rays lead back to 5-3.
Chirinos gave up a long homer to Jorge Soler last week in St. Petersburg and was touched again for another blast off the bat of Soler to cut the Rays lead to 5-4 in the seventh.
Nate Lowe doubled for his first big league hit in the eighth inning and came around to score on a 2-out RBI single by Kevin Kiermaier to push the lead back to 6-4.
Tampa Bay added two more runs in the ninth thanks to a Ji-Man Choi double that scored Tommy Pham and Brandon Lowe.
The Rays and Royals hope to get game two of their four game series on Tuesday night at 8:15 EST. Heavy rains are forecast for the area during the day and extending into the evening. The Rays have Blake Snell (2-2, 2.54 ERA) scheduled to start and the Royals are expected to counter with Jakob Junis (2-2, 5.57 ERA).