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Homers Help Rays Take Series In Kansas City

Jake Odorizzi saw an early three-run lead disappear, but homers by Steven Souza Jr. and Logan Morrison broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Tampa Bay Rays their first series win in Kansas City since 2009 with a 5-3 victory over the Royals Wednesday.

Tampa Bay built their initial lead in the top of the third inning, starting with a solo home run by Adeiny Hechaverria, his sixth of the year for a 1-0 advantage.  Peter Bourjos followed by drawing a walk, moving to second on a base hit by Kevin Kiermaier and scoring on a single by Souza for a 2-0 lead.

Evan Longoria made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly that plated Kiermaier.

Odorizzi saw the lead disappear in the bottom of the inning, as Cheslor Cuthbert drew a walk and Alcides Escobar dropped a bunt single in front of Whit Merrifield, who blasted his 17th home run of the year to tie the game.

But Odorizzi did not allow Kansas City to take the lead, and Tampa Bay broke the tie in the top of the fifth, as Souza lifted a Jason Vargas pitch around the left field foul pole for his 29th home run of the season, and two batters later, Morrison followed suit with a blast into the visiting bullpen, his 33rd of the season.

Odorizzi (7-7) would leave after a leadoff single to Melky Cabrera that started the home sixth.  Steve Cishek finished off the sixth and worked a perfect seventh, while Tommy Hunter followed with a perfect eighth and Alex Colome pitched a scoreless ninth for his MLB-leading 40th save of the year.

The win gets Tampa Bay back to just a single game under .500 at 67-68.

The Rays will have Thursday off, before beginning a three-game series over the weekend with the Chicago White Sox.

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