The Rays hadn’t knocked a hit against Royals pitching since the fourth inning on Wednesday night, but they made sure the next one they had counted.
With Kevin Kiermaier as the automatic runner on third base, Manuel Margot’s walk-off single off reliever Tyler Zuber in the bottom of the 10th inning handed the Royals a 2-1 loss at Tropicana Field, setting up the rubber match on Thursday afternoon.
Andrew Benintendi was the reason the Rays were batting in the bottom of the ninth. After falling victim to three stellar catches in center field over two games this series, Benintendi finally placed a ball that was uncatchable by a Tampa Bay center fielder in the top of the ninth inning, when he crushed a pitch from J.P. Feyereisen leading off the top of the ninth.
Before the ninth, the Royals were stymied by Rays starter Tyler Glasnow. He struck out 11 in eight innings, allowing just three hits with two walks. Kansas City didn’t get many opportunities on the bases against Glasnow and couldn’t capitalize when it did.
Starter Mike Minor held the Rays to one run in five innings and matched a season high with nine strikeouts.