It didn't take long for the accolades about Brandon Lowe to pay off.
Lowe, who was named American League Rookie of the Month for April on Thursday, hit a two-run homer off Wily Peralta in the ninth inning to break a 1-1 tie and give the Tampa Bay Rays a 3-1 win over the Kansas City Royals, salvaging a split of the four-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
The announcement on the award came while the Rays were hitting in the top of the ninth inning as Daniel Robertson drew a leadoff four-pitch walk from Peralta. The right-hander then got Avisail Garcia to line out and Mike Zunino to fly out before Lowe took a 2-2 offering from him and sent it into the home bullpen for his seventh home run of the year, tying Yandy Diaz for the team lead.
Rays starter Charlie Morton worked into the seventh inning allowing just a single run on a triple by Whit Merrifield in the third inning, walking one and striking out nine.
Tampa Bay tied the game in the fifth on a bloop single by Guillermo Heredia that brought in Willy Adames, who singled off Danny Duffy with one away and moved to second on a base hit by Nate Lowe.
Morton left two outs into the seventh after issuing his only walk of the afternoon to Maldonado. Emilio Pagan struck out Billy Hamilton to end the inning, and got Merrifield to line to second, and Adam Kolarek (2-0) induced groundouts from both Adalberto Mondesi and Alex Gordon to end the eighth.
Diego Castillo worked a perfect ninth with a pair of strikeouts to lock down his fourth save of the season.
Tampa Bay, who became the first Amercian League team to win its 20th game of the season, next heads to Baltimore to begin the third leg of this three-city road trip.
Tampa Bay Rays (20-11) at Baltimore Orioles (11-21), 7:05 pm first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch.
Rays starter: RHP Tyler Glasnow (5-0, 1.74 ERA)
Orioles starter: RHP Dan Straily (1-1, 6.75 ERA)