Luis Patiño strong in return, Rays beat Royals 7-1

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Luis Patiño pitched hard in the sixth inning, Yandy Díaz drove in three runs and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Kansas City Royals 7-1 on Thursday night.

Tampa Bay, which is tied with Toronto for the second AL wild card, has won five of six.

Patiño (1-1), recalled from Triple-A Durham to make his first major league appearance since July 23, allowed four hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings. He entered the 60-day disabled list following a left oblique sprain in April.

“I felt really good,” Patiño said through an interpreter. “I’m recovering from my injuries. The confidence has definitely increased.”

Patiño allowed three runs and seven hits in four innings at Kansas City on July 23. The right-hander is the 22nd major league-leading Rays pitcher to win a game this season.

“Knocked us off balance,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “He has good equipment. Breaking ball is crisp, good speed. I couldn’t really predict where he was going and he didn’t make a lot of mistakes.”

Díaz homered on Max Castillo’s second pitch (0-1) to lead the first, and hit a two-run brace on a five-run seventh against Brad Keller.

Michael Massey hit his first major league home run in the eighth against Shawn Armstrong to end the Royals’ scoreless streak at 33 innings. Kansas City, shut out by Minnesota in its previous two games, has avoided being shut out three straight times for the second time this season.

Castillo allowed one run and three hits, including two on bunts, in five innings. The right-hander was acquired from Toronto in the trade for Whit Merrifield on Aug. 2 and recalled from Triple-A Omaha to start after Keller was moved to the bullpen on Wednesday.

“Really impressive,” Matheny said. “I couldn’t expect more than he did.”

Keller, who went 6-13 in 22 starts this year, came on one out in the seventh and allowed six straight hits, including Díaz’s brace that bounced off the head of third baseman Bobby Witt Jr. He allowed five runs, six hits and threw a wild pitch that scores a run in two-thirds of an inning.

Roman Quinn had the second hit on the seventh and took advantage of the change to take a huge lead first. He was second on a Jose Siri single that shortstop Nicky Lopez lined up. Lopez watched second before making a late pitch to first.

“Roman Quinn’s baserunning set up this whole inning,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Just very, very head held high. We weren’t hitting the ball everywhere. Keller gave up, I think, six or seven ground balls this round.

Christian Bethancourt homered a solo homer in the eighth that made it 7-1.

Kansas City designated hitter Vinnie Pasquantino went 0 for 3 with a walk and had his nine-game hitting streak that included five home runs. Salvador Perez has walked twice, giving him 12 in 78 games this year.

LATE ARRIVAL

The Rays arrived in the Tampa area around 5 a.m. after Wednesday night’s 8-7, 10-inning loss to the New York Yankees.

Aerialist David Peralta doesn’t normally sleep on the plane, but he did this time and said he was snoring so loudly he woke up.

When asked before the game if he thought the players were tired, Cash replied: “No.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: RF Hunter Dozier has been reinstated from the paternity list.

Rays: SS Wander Franco (right hook bone surgery) missed his second consecutive game with Triple-A Durham after leaving his first rehabilitation game on Tuesday with hand pain. Cash said Franco will take the courts on Friday. … DE Manuel Margot (right patellar sprain) should be activated on Saturday. … LHP Brendan McKay (thoracic outlet syndrome surgery) allowed two runs and two hits in four innings for Durham.

NEXT

Royals: RHP Brady Singer (6-4), after a one-hit, six-inning outing on Sunday in a 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, starts Friday night against the Rays’ Shane McClanahan (11-5), the AL All-Star Game starter.

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