Moore tries to get back into win column versus Royals

Tampa Bay lefty Matt Moore will try to keep the Kansas City bats in check on Friday night when the Rays host the Royals in the second of a four-game series from Tropicana Field.

The Royals opened the series with an offensive barrage on Thursday, when Elliot Johnson capped a three-hit performance and an eight-run sixth inning with a three-run homer in a 10-1 win.

Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez and Miguel Tejada each added an RBI apiece to the rally, while David Lough collected a pair of hits and knocked in two runs to lift the Royals to their eighth victory in nine games.

Jeremy Hellickson (4-3) was charged with all eight runs during Kansas City's offensive attack and dropped his first decision in nine starts. He allowed 10 hits -- eight of which came in the sixth -- and struck out four.

"Eight runs is eight runs, it's unacceptable," Hellickson said.

The Rays had hardly any luck against Ervin Santana (5-5), who dominated over 7 2/3 innings of work. He scattered just five hits and was tagged with an unearned run in the triumph.

"Everything is going our way right now," Santana said. "We have to keep it up and continue to play hard."

The Royals won a pair from the Rays in the teams' only previous series in 2013, taking 8-2 and 9-8 decisions on April 30 and May 1 in Kansas City.

Moore, a Florida native who'll turn 24 on Tuesday, won his initial eight decisions of the season but has gone dry in his last four outings, including consecutive losses in his last two.

He was hammered for nine runs on 12 hits in just five innings against the Baltimore Orioles on June 9, five days after lasting just two innings - and allowing six runs - in a 10-1 loss at Detroit.

Moore's last win came against the Orioles on May 19, when he scattered five hits and allowed a run in seven innings of a 3-1 triumph.

Tampa Bay is 7-3 in his last 10 starts, and Moore got a no-decision in his lone career meeting with Kansas City.

For the Royals, Mexican-born righty Luis Mendoza looks for a first win since May 13 and a second for 2013.

The 29-year-old dropped his initial two decisions of the year before an 11-4 defeat of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, against whom he allowed three runs in six innings.

Mendoza's 0-1 in five appearances since, losing a 3-0 verdict to Minnesota along with no-decisions against Oakland, the Angels, St. Louis and Houston.

He's 0-1 in two career meetings with the Rays, and allowed six runs in four innings against them on May 1 - a game Kansas City ultimately won, 9-8.