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Rays score in 9th to win Banda's solid debut

MLB.com @wwchastain

KANSAS CITY -- Excitement greeted Anthony Banda's first start for the Rays.

And the left-hander made it a good one in the Rays' 6-5 win over the Royals on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

View Full Game Coverage

KANSAS CITY -- Excitement greeted Anthony Banda's first start for the Rays.

And the left-hander made it a good one in the Rays' 6-5 win over the Royals on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

View Full Game Coverage

Joey Wendle's RBI single off Kelvin Herrera with two outs in the ninth put the Rays on top, Alex Colome pitched a scoreless ninth to preserve the win and earn his eighth save of the season and Jonny Venters, who got the final two outs in the eighth, picked up his first win since 2012.

Video: TB@KC: Wendle on his go-ahead hit in the Rays' win

The Rays acquired Banda on Feb. 20 in the three-team, seven-player swap with the D-backs and Yankees that sent Steven Souza Jr. to Arizona. Of the four prospects the Rays acquired in the deal, Banda was the first to make his Rays debut (he also pitched in eight games for the D-backs in 2017).

"Just attacking hitters, going at them with everything," Banda said of his outing. "Not shying away from contact. So overall, just felt good. Body felt great. … Overall, I just felt good."

Video: TB@KC: Colome induces a pop fly for the final out

Banda looked composed throughout his five-inning outing, which saw him allow three runs on six hits and no walks while striking out one.

"Pretty exciting," Rays manager Kevin Cash said, when asked about Banda. "Young, threw strikes. Got him a 3-0 lead, which obviously helps. Probably settled some nerves and anxiety. But for him to come out and have the kind of efficiency he had early on, he looked the part for sure."

Video: TB@KC: Cash on Wendle's big hit in win over Royals

Of the 52 pitches Banda threw, 38 were strikes. In the third, he needed just five pitches to retire the side.

"He was pretty good," said Whit Merrifield, who collected three RBIs for the Royals. "He had good life on his fastball. Changeup had good depth. He got quick outs."

The Rays led, 5-3, when Banda left the game, but he came away with a no-decision after Merrifield's two-out, two-run single off Sergio Romo in the seventh tied the game at 5.

Video: TB@KC: Merrifield plates 2 to tie the game in the 7th

SOUND SMART
C.J. Cron continues to hit, and he went deep for the Rays in the first inning for his ninth home run of the season. He has now reached base safely in a career-high 21 consecutive games since April 21 vs. Minnesota. Cron's homer was his second in his last four games, so Tuesday's came at a good time and could signal the start of a long-ball streak for the Rays' designated hitter. More >

Video: TB@KC: Cron crushes a 2-run homer to open scoring

INJURY UPDATES
Both Matt Duffy and Carlos Gomez left the game with injuries.

Duffy exited with right hamstring tightness and Gomez with right groin tightness. Both are day to day.

The third baseman lined out in the fifth, and when the Rays took the field in the bottom half of the inning, Daniel Robertson entered the game in his place. Duffy doubled in three trips to the plate, upping his average to .322 on the season.

Video: TB@KC: Hechavarria plates Duffy with a single

Gomez, who went 0-for-1 with a walk, laid down a sacrifice bunt in the sixth but didn't return for the bottom half of the inning. Johnny Field replaced him in right field. More >

EOVALDI FINE
Nathan Eovaldi threw a 25-pitch bullpen session at Tropicana Field on Tuesday and everything went well for the right-hander. He will pitch either three innings or 50 pitches on Friday for Triple-A Durham.

Eovaldi was scratched from his scheduled rehab start on Tuesday due to a muscle strain on his right side.

"No issues at all," Cash said.

Eovaldi, who was earmarked to be in the starting rotation at the beginning of the season, went on the disabled list because he had to have loose bodies surgically removed from his right elbow. He now is in the process of building himself back up to rejoin the rotation.

UP NEXT
Jake Faria will start for the Rays going for the sweep against the Royals at 2:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium. The right-hander has yielded one run or fewer in four of his last six starts and five of his eight starts so far this season, pitching to a 1.26 ERA in those five stellar outings. Jason Hammel will start for the Royals.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays, Anthony Banda, C.J. Cron, Jonny Venters, Joey Wendle