Siri homers twice in opener, Raley gets key hit in nightcap, Rays sweep Royals 6-1 and 4-2

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Rays Celebrate Double Header Sweep Over Royals
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Rays Celebrate Double Header Sweep Over Royals
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Luke Raley had a go-ahead single in the eighth inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2 Saturday night to complete a doubleheader sweep.

Jose Siri hit a pair of solo homers as the Rays won the first game 6-1 to open the second half. AL East-leading Tampa Bay has won three in a row after a season-high, seven-game losing streak and at 60-35 became the first AL team to 60 wins.

“That was awesome to come out the first games out of break like that,” the Rays’ Josh Lowe said. “To start the second half this way should build some momentum for us and carry us into the second half.”

Kansas City has lost eight of nine, dropping to 26-67 and falling 41 games under .500 for the first time since under 2019 at 59-103.. The Royals were swept in a doubleheader for the first time since May 25, 2019, against the New York Yankees after going 2-0-7 in their previous nine twinbills.

Dairon Blanco’s RBI grounder in the fifth put the Royals ahead 2-1 in the nightcap. Lowe tied the score with a run-scoring triple in the seventh and Raley singled in the eighth against Carlos Hernández (0-5). Harold Ramírez added a sacrifice fly in the ninth against Dylan Coleman.

Colin Poche (7-2) threw a 1-2-3 seventh. Pete Fairbanks, pitching before about 50 family and friends, worked around Salvador Perez’s leadoff single in the ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances.

“The Royals pitched us tough all day,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “It felt like we kind of just had to hang in there and have some timely at-bats late in the ballgame.”

Perez had four hits in the opener, one shy of his career high. His fifth-inning double made him the sixth Kansas City player with 500 extra-base hits.

Cole Ragans, a 25-year-old left-hander, made his Royals debut in the night game and allowed one run and four hits in five innings.

A day after the series opener was rained out, Tyler Glasnow (3-3) gave up one run and six hits over six innings and struck out six in the day game. Glasnow had been 0-3 in four starts since a June 14 win at Oakland.

“I felt good all game,” Glasnow said. “I kind of felt off to start, but as the innings went on I got a rhythm. It was a battle today and ended up being a good game.”

Siri homered in the third off Alec Marsh (0-3) and the ninth off Nick Wittgren for his seventh career multihomer game. Siri has 18 home runs this season.

“I know I’ve been striking out a lot, but everyone knows that. It felt good to connect on those two,” Siri said.

Francisco Mejía gave the Rays a 2-0 lead in the fifth when he homered off Marsh, who allowed two runs and five hits in six innings with 11 strikeouts and one walk. The strikeouts were a high for a Royals pitcher in his first three big league starts.

“Getting strikeouts the last two games were difficult for me,” Marsh said. “I thought the attack mode was good all game. I think mindset wise I knew to keep attacking and knowing I needed to make a pitch with two strikes.”

Kansas City’s Collin Snider opened the eighth with 13 consecutive balls. Raley followed with a two-run single and Josh Lowe hit a sacrifice fly.

Bobby Witt Jr. hit a 424-foot homer in the fifth.

UP NEXT

RHP Zach Eflin (10-4, 3.25) starts Sunday’s series finale for the Rays and RHP Bailey Singer (5-8, 5.80) for the Royals.