KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Adalberto Mondesi hit a two-run homer in a three-run first inning, and the Kansas City Royals held on to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Wednesday in the opener of a doubleheader.
Jakob Junis (3-2) won his second consecutive start, both against the Rays, after winning at Tampa Bay on April 24. He allowed two runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings, walking two and striking out two.
Mondesi is batting .338 (24-for-71) with 12 extra-base hits at Kauffman Stadium, the most by any AL player in his home park. He is second in the AL in RBIs with 26.
The Royals jumped on Rays opener Ryne Stanek (0-1). Whit Merrifield led off with a double and stole third before Mondesi drilled his fourth homer this season to right field. Alex Gordon walked and later scored as the first four batters reached safely.
Tampa Bay began the day having allowed just four first-inning runs while scoring 29, both best in the majors. Stanek had made seven scoreless appearances as the opener this year, holding opponents to a .114 batting average (4-for-35). His lone inning Wednesday increased his ERA from 1.20 to 2.81.
Jalen Beeks took over in the second and limited the Royals to one hit over 6 2/3 innings, fanning six.
Ian Kennedy worked two scoreless innings for his second save in three chances.
The Royals benefited from an unusual baserunning gaffe in the fourth, when Avisail Garcia was called out on appeal for failing to retouch second base. After Gordon caught Kevin Kiermaier’s long drive to left, Garcia appeared to touch second and make a slight turn toward third before running directly back to first.
Kansas City became the last AL team to reach double digits in wins.
The Rays added RHP Austin Pruitt from Triple-A Durham as their 26th man for Game 2 of the doubleheader, while the Royals recalled RHP Glenn Sparkman from Omaha to start the second game.
Blake Snell (2-2, 2.54 ERA), last year’s AL Cy Young winner, starts in the second game against Sparkman (0-1, 8.10), who is making his first start of the season.