Major League Baseball
Preview
Tampa Bay at Kansas City
When: 2:10 PM ET, Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

The Tampa Bay Rays look to improve on their major league-best road record when they battle the Kansas City Royals in a split doubleheader on Tuesday. Rain washed out the scheduled opener Monday after the Rays ended a seven-game losing streak with an 8-1 triumph at the New York Yankees on Sunday for their 22nd victory in 36 away from home.

First baseman James Loney has made an impact with his glove and bat for Tampa Bay, going 4-for-13 with three RBIs in three games since returning from a fractured finger. Rays home run leader Steven Souza Jr. (15 blasts) is questionable with a finger injury while Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas, who is second on the team with a .301 average, was placed on the bereavement list Monday. The Royals own the best record (46-33) in the American League despite losing five of their last seven contests. Four Kansas City players – outfielders Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain along with catcher Salvador Perez and shortstop Alcides Escobar – will start in next week’s All-Star Game.

TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, FSN Kansas City

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays LH Matt Moore (0-0, 7.71 ERA) vs. Royals RH Chris Young (7-4, 2.64)

Moore allowed four runs, six hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings in his 2015 debut last Thursday after returning from Tommy John surgery. “He commanded his fastball,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash told reporters. “A couple of pitches got away from him, yanked a couple change-ups, but I think we all came into it knowing there’s a possibility of that happening.” Escobar is 4-for-8 with a homer against Moore, who is 0-2 in three career starts versus the Royals.

Young lost for the second time in three starts last time out but yielded only one run on six hits over 5 1/3 innings in a 2-0 loss to Minnesota. The 6-10 Texas native has limited opponents to one earned run or less in eight of his 11 starts after starting the season in the bullpen. Loney is 8-for-22 with three doubles versus Young, who is 1-2 with a 7.71 ERA in three starts against Tampa Bay.

WALK-OFFS

1. Tampa Bay RHPs Chris Archer (nine wins, 141 strikeouts) and Brad Boxberger (20 saves) were named the AL All-Star team.

2. Kansas City 1B-DH Kendrys Morales has cooled off of late with just five hits in 30 at-bats with 10 strikeouts in his last eight games.

3. In addition to the four starters, RHPs Wade Davis (nine saves, 0.25 ERA) and Kelvin Herrera (0.98 WHIP) were selected to the AL All-Star squad.

PREDICTION: Rays 6, Royals 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Tampa Bay 43-41 W1 20-25 23-16 21-20 6-7 10-11 6-3
Kansas City 46-33 W1 24-15 22-18 3-6 21-14 13-9 9-4
Last Meeting
Tampa Bay Kansas City
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/9/14 KC 5 TB 4 .235 1 .704 .282 2 .785
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Tampa Bay N/A
Kansas City N/A
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Tampa Bay M. Andriese 0 0 0
Kansas City J. Blanton 0 0 0
Pitching ERA Avg K
Tampa Bay 0.00 .000 0
Kansas City 0.00 .000 0
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Tampa Bay L. Forsythe .281 80 .790
Kansas City L. Cain .305 84 .826
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Tampa Bay S. Souza 15 41 33
Kansas City S. Perez 13 26 34
Pitching ERA Avg K
Tampa Bay 3.40 .241 710
Kansas City 3.52 .268 533