Seth Lugo becomes AL's first 8-game winner, Royals beat Rays 8-1 to improve to 33-19

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Seth Lugo became the American League's first eight-game winner, Michael Massey and Bobby Witt Jr, homered and the Kansas City Royals beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-1 on Friday night for their seventh consecutive victory.

Lugo (8-1) allowed one run and four hits, lowering his AL-best ERA from 1.79 to to 1.74. Only Philadelphia's Ranger Suárez has more victories in the majors with nine.

The Royals are a season-best 14-game over .500 at 33-19. Kansas City was 15-37 after 52 games last season and did not get to 33 wins until Aug. 1.

Massey put Kansas City ahead 5-1 in the fifth with a three-run homer off Tyler Alexander (2-3). Massey, who has 21 RBIs in his last 21 games, left in the sixth due to lower back tightness.

Witt extended his hitting streak to seven games with a solo homer against Alexander in a two-run seventh that made it 8-1. Both dugouts were warned by the umpires after Alexander hit the next batter after Witt, Vinnie Pasquantino, with a 90.3 mph fastball.

Tampa Bay has lost a season-high five in a row to fall to 25-27.

The Rays loaded the bases with one out in the first against Lugo, but scored just once on Jonathan Aranda’s fielder’s choice grounder.

After opener Shawn Armstrong went two perfect innings. Alexander gave up eight runs and 11 hits in five innings. Alexander took a perfect game into the eighth in his previous outing, a start May 17 at Toronto.


Royals: Reliever Carlos Hernández (right shoulder impingement) was reinstated from the 15-day injured list. The righty had been out since opening day. To clear a roster spot, RHP Tyler Duffey was designated for assignment.

Rays: OF Josh Lowe (right side strain) received a cortisone shot in an attempt to avoid going on the injured list. … RHP Shane Baz (Tommy John surgery) was optioned to Triple-A Durham after making four minor league rehab starts.


Royals RHP Brady Singer (4-2, 2.70 ERA) and Rays RHP Aaron Civale (2-4, 5.92 ERA) are set to start Saturday.



Mark Didtler, The Associated Press