Michael Wacha tosses 6 solid innings, Salvador Perez drives in 2 as the Royals beat the Rays 4-2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Michael Wacha allowed one run on two hits over six innings, Salvador Perez drove in a pair of runs and the Kansas City Royals got a spectacular defensive play from Kyle Isbel in the ninth to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Wednesday night.

After reliever Chris Stratton gave up a run in the eighth, Royals closer James McArthur got Jose Siri to fly out to right and Richie Palacios to pop foul and leave runners on second and third.

McArthur came back for the ninth and gave up a leadoff single to Ben Rortvedt, but then struck out Yandy Diaz and watched Isbel rob Taylor Walls of extra bases with a leaping catch at the wall in center. McArthur then got Isaac Paredes to ground back to the pitcher to finish off his 15th save.

Bobby Witt Jr. and Vinnie Pasquantino also drove in runs to push Kansas City to its AL-leading 31st home victory.

Wacha (5-6) walked three and struck out eight, and the only run he allowed came on Paredes’ homer in the first. It was his eighth consecutive start allowing two earned runs or fewer, helping him to win for the first time since May 20.

Ryan Pepiot (4-5) allowed two runs on four his over four innings for Tampa Bay. He struck out three.

After the series opener was delayed 2 1/2 hours by rain and finished after midnight, and Wednesday night’s game started amid a drizzle, the clouds finally cleared off and a brilliant double rainbow appeared beyond the right-field wall at sunset.

Tampa Bay jumped ahead on Parades’ two-out homer, but that was all the Rays managed with Wacha on the mound. He left Amed Rosario on third in the second inning, stranded two in the third and worked around a leadoff double in the fourth.

The Royals took advantage of the opening, stringing together three hits in the third inning to take the lead. Kyle Isbel led off with a single, but it was Witt’s double to left and Pasquantino’s single moments later that pushed the runs across.

Kansas City still led 2-1 in the seventh when Shawn Armstrong walked Maikel Garcia and Witt. Perez stepped to the plate and got just enough barrel on the ball to bloop a single to right, scoring both and giving the Royals a cushion.


Tampa Bay traded RHP Aaron Civale to the NL Central-leading Brewers, who hope he can help a starting rotation decimated by injuries. The Rays received INF Gregory Barrios in the deal and assigned him to Class-A Bowling Green. Tampa Bay filled Civale’s roster spot by recalling RHP Justin Sterner from Triple-A Durham.


Rays RHP Zach Eflin (4-5, 3.92 ERA) will start the season finale Thursday night. He is coming off six scoreless innings in a 3-1 win over Washington, his first victory since May 13. Royals RHP Alec Marsh (6-5, 4.19) gets the nod for the finale of a 10-game homestand.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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