Rays eye split with Royals

The Tampa Bay Rays try to put a scary incident behind them as they aim to split a four-game set against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

After losing the first two tests of the series, Tampa Bay took a 5-3 decision on Saturday as Luke Scott went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer, while Evan Longoria added a home run and two RBI. The Rays managed to come out on top and end their three-game slide despite losing starter Alex Cobb in the fifth inning after a line drive struck the 25-year-old pitcher in the head.

Cobb was taken off the field on a stretcher but all tests indicate the damage was only a mild concussion.

Scott was only 4-for-37 at the plate this month heading into Saturday before a 5-for-6 showing over his past two.

"That was a nice comeback for him today," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Scott. "We needed that today. We needed that lift from him, and he provided it."

Longoria has now hit safely in seven straight and has amassed four homers over his last six games. The star third baseman leads the Rays in all batting categories. Matt Joyce hit a solo home run in both Friday's loss and Saturday's win for the hosts, who became the first team to score more than three runs against the Royals in June.

Roberto Hernandez will be on the hill for Tampa Bay as it tries to dwindle the five games between it and the AL East-leading Red Sox. The 32-year old righty improved to 4-6 on the season on Tuesday as he held Boston to three runs and seven hits over seven innings.

The Royals will counter with Wade Davis, who will be taking on his former club for the first time. Davis has not collected a winning decision in his last five starts despite limiting Detroit to just two runs over 6 2/3 innings on Tuesday.

"Wade Davis was really good tonight," Royals manager Ned Yost said after the right-hander's strong showing. "Really did a nice job getting us into the seventh inning like he did, tied score, just really threw the ball great."

Salvador Perez had two hits, including a solo homer, to extend his hit streak to 11 games, while Alex Gordon and Hosmer added one RBI apiece on Saturday for Kansas City, which lost for just the second time in 11 games. Billy Butler had gone 5-for-11 with three RBI in his three previous games but went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts in the loss.

Tampa Bay has dropped eight of its last 11 games with the Royals.