Rays overcome rain delay to down Royals

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MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City RoyalsJul 2, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals third baseman CJ Alexander (40) singles for his first Major League hit in the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Zack Littell threw five shutout innings as the visiting Tampa Bay Rays outlasted the rain for a 5-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals, opening a three-game series on Tuesday evening.

Littell (3-5) allowed four hits with four strikeouts for his first win since May 11. While snapping his eight-game streak of allowing at least one home run each start, he recorded his third consecutive start of exactly five innings allowing two runs or fewer.

The Rays grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Richie Palacios reached on an infield hit and Jose Siri slashed a double past shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. With two outs, Palacios scored on Brady Singer’s wild pitch.

After CJ Alexander registered his first major league hit, putting runners at the corners with two outs in the fifth, Littell fanned Kyle Isbel to end the inning and the clouds opened with a heavy downpour.

When the game resumed after a two-hour, 32-minute delay, Palacios delivered an RBI double, his second of three hits, for a 2-0 lead.

Isaac Paredes’ two-run double in the seventh expanded Tampa Bay’s advantage to 4-1.

Brandon Lowe capped the scoring with his seventh home run, leading off the ninth.

The Rays collected six of their nine hits against four Royals relievers.

Winners of 13 of their last 20 road games, Tampa Bay has won nine of 12 to climb one game above .500 for the first time since May 20.

In five innings, Singer (4-5) allowed three hits and three walks, striking out four.

Singer is 0-3 in seven starts since earning his last win, May 19. The Royals have scored five combined runs in the 37 2/3 innings he has pitched during that stretch and have scored two or fewer runs in 13 of 17 starts this year.

In the sixth, Witt lined a solo homer to left. It was his 13th homer.

MJ Melendez collected three of Kansas City’s six hits.

–Field Level Media

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