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Royals thump Rays with season-high 18 hits

May 31, 2016

KANSAS CITY -- Lorenzo Cain and Kendrys Morales each hit two-run homers, and red-hot Eric Hosmer and Drew Butera each had three hits as the Royals rolled to their fifth straight win, a 10-5 victory over the Rays on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.The first-place Royals remained two games in

KANSAS CITY -- Lorenzo Cain and Kendrys Morales each hit two-run homers, and red-hot Eric Hosmer and Drew Butera each had three hits as the Royals rolled to their fifth straight win, a 10-5 victory over the Rays on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.
The first-place Royals remained two games in front of the White Sox in the American League Central, while the Indians fell 2 1/2 games back. Kansas City notched a season-high 18 hits, with all starting nine in the lineup recording at least one hit.
"We're just rolling now," Hosmer said. "We're getting early leads, and everyone is swinging the bats well."
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The Royals have scored 58 runs in their last eight games.
"We just got hot offensively," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We got a lot of guys swinging the bats really good -- Lorenzo Cain, Butera got three hits."

Royals rookie left fielder Brett Eibner was carted off the field after collapsing in severe pain with a left ankle injury while pursuing a fly ball in the gap. The Royals' medical staff diagnosed the injury as a left lateral sprain, and he will get an MRI on Wednesday. Yost indicated it almost surely would require a trip to the disabled list for Eibner.
Dillon Gee started for the Royals and went five innings, giving up nine hits and four runs.
"I actually felt pretty good," Gee said. "I thought I made one bad pitch [on a three-run homer], and other than that, I thought I had good stuff."
Drew Smyly started for the Royals and surrendered 12 hits and eight runs through four innings. Corey Dickerson hit a three-run homer for the Rays, who lost reliever Brad Boxberger to a left side injury in his season debut.
"Obviously that ballgame got away from us," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Drew didn't have his best stuff. Couldn't quite find any of his offspeed pitches the way he's generally capable of throwing and locating them -- he just didn't have it."

Land of Hoz: Hosmer continued his torrid hitting of late with three more hits, including a double and two RBIs. Hosmer is 13-for-21 on this homestand and has 12 RBIs. He also scored two runs.
"I'm just seeing the ball and getting good pitches to hit," Hosmer said. "Not really doing anything differently."

Positive sign?: Morales' struggles are well-known to Royals fans -- he came into the game hitting .187 overall and .143 from the left side. But Morales had an RBI single in the fourth inning, then cranked a rocket into the right-field bullpen for a two-run homer, his sixth of the season.

Trouble with the long ball: Smyly has struggled with the long ball lately. Entering Tuesday night's start, the Rays lefty had allowed two home runs in each of his previous two starts. The trend continued in the first when he surrendered a two-run homer to Cain that put the Royals up 2-0. In five of his 11 starts this season, he has not allowed a home run, in the other six, he has allowed 12. However, he had more troubles than the long ball Tuesday night as he allowed eight earned runs on a career-high 12 hits.

Dickerson's blast: Dickerson's homer in the second gave him nine for the season and put the Rays up 3-2. The blast also gave the Rays 44 for the month of May, which tied a club record for the most home runs in any month (September 2012).

"They're a good model to sit here and look at. There's no doubt. Those guys get on base, and they've got hitters in that lineup that are just driven to get it done. Find a way. They battle, battle, battle. Very good approaches." -- Cash, on the Royals
• Rays shortstop Brad Miller had a single, a double and a triple, giving him four games with a double and a triple this season -- no one else in the Major Leagues has more than one. The last player to have four such games within the team's first 50 games of the season was Vada Pinson for Cincinnati in 1959.
Rays:Chris Archer (3-6, 4.62 ERA) makes his 12th start of the season hoping to pick up where he left off in his last outing, when he felt like he made "leaps" in the direction he wants to get. But finding said success will be tough at Kauffman Stadium, where he's 0-2 with a 6.27 ERA in three career starts. First pitch on Wednesday is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET.
Royals: Left-hander Danny Duffy (0-0, 3.23) takes the mound at 7:15 p.m. CT in the series finale. Duffy retired the first 16 hitters in his last start against the White Sox, then gave up five straight hits and five runs.
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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for since 2005.