The Tampa Bay Rays (63-54) defeated the Kansas City Royals (48-72) 7-1 on Thursday night at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
Yandy Diaz led off the game with a home run, and for the longest it looked like that run would be enough for the Rays. Tampa Bay was finally able to break through in the bottom of the seventh inning for five runs to build a 6-0 lead.
After Kansas City got one back in the eighth, Christian Bethancourt homered in the bottom of the eighth to give Tampa Bay a 7-1 lead.
Luis Patiño (1-1, 3.95) was brilliant getting the start after being called up from AAA-Durham earlier in the day. He pitched five and two-third shutout innings in which he allowed four hits while striking out four and walking two.
The Rays and Royals meet again in the second game of the four game series on Friday night. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:10 PM - pregame coverage begins with Jay Recher hosting the Inside Pitch at 6:00 PM on 95.3 WDAE & AM 620.
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