Tampa Bay's Luis Patino turned in his best start of 2022, Yandy Diaz homered and drove in three runs, and the Rays beat the Kansas City Royals 7-1 Thursday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Promoted from Triple-A Durham after being demoted on July 23, Patino (1-0) tossed 5 2/3 scoreless frames in his fourth start thus far. He allowed four hits, walked two and fanned four over a season-high 86 pitches.
Diaz went 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs before leaving after the seventh inning while baserunning and rounding third base awkwardly. Roman Quinn had three hits, a triple and a run. Christian Bethancourt had two hits, including a solo homer, and two runs.
Leading 1-0 late, the Rays helped secure their fifth win in the past six games with the benefit of a five-run seventh inning as they sent nine batters up.
They improved to 36-22 at home and 9-6 overall in August.
Michael Massey (2-for-4) hit his first major league home run and Michael A. Taylor had two hits, but the Royals lost their fourth straight game.
In his Kansas City debut after being one of two prospects acquired at the trade deadline for Whit Merrifield, Max Castillo (0-1) pitched five innings and allowed three hits -- including the homer by Diaz -- while walking one and striking out three.
Diaz wasted no time getting to Castillo, drilling the right-hander's second pitch as a Royal 400 feet to left field. It was his seventh of the season and sixth career leading off a game for his team.
Diaz's two-run, bases-loaded high chopper for a double in the seventh made it 3-0, giving the Cuban infielder 11 RBIs in his past 10 games. Brandon Lowe's line-drive single scored Jose Siri, and Randy
Arozarena produced the sixth straight hit on a double off the right-field wall to score Diaz. Brad Keller's wild pitch plated Lowe to complete the five-run barrage.
Playing in his 17th game, Massey put the Royals on the board in the eighth with a blast that just stayed fair down the right-field line on an 0-2 pitch off Shawn Armstrong.
The tally ended a 33-inning scoring drought for the visitors, who were swept in three games by the Minnesota Twins earlier this week.
--Field Level Media