KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — C.J. Cron homered and scored three runs, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Kansas City 5-3 on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep of the woeful Royals.
Cron extended his on-base streak to 22 games when he was hit by a pitch from Jason Hammel (0-5) in a three-run first that included Brad Miller’s RBI groundout and Adeiny Hechavarria’s two-run single.
Cron homered leading off the third, then singled in the fifth and scored on Wilson Ramos’ double-play grounder for a 5-1 lead.
Tampa Bay had losing six of seven coming in but swept the Royals for the first time since four games from Aug. 8-11, 2011. The Rays had not swept a series in Kansas City since three games from July 17-19, 2009.
Kansas City has lost five straight and seven of eight, dropping to 13-30 for its worst 43-game start since opening with a 10-33 record in 2006. The Royals are 6-16 at Kauffman Stadium.
Matt Andriese (1-1) allowed three hits in three scoreless innings. Alex Colome allowed Abraham Almonte’s leadoff single in the ninth, then retired three straight batters for his third save in three days and ninth in 11 opportunities.
Staked to a 4-0 lead, Rays starter Jake Faria allowed three runs, four hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings. He gave up sacrifice flies to Alcides Escobar in the fourth and Mike Moustakas in the fifth, an inning that also included Jorge Soler’s RBI double.
Hammel gave up five runs and 10 hits in six innings, raising his ERA to 6.28. He is 0-8 with a 7.28 ERA in 13 starts since winning at Detroit on Sept. 6.