Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Jason Vargas hurled eight-plus strong innings as the Kansas City Royals downed the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-2, in the opener of a three-game set.
Vargas (1-0) allowed just one run -- a solo homer in the ninth -- among four hits to earn his first win in a Royals uniform. The southpaw has allowed just two runs this season.
"We got the big three-run hit late, and Vargas gave us a heck of a start. We played great defensively and kind of played a solid all around game," said Royals closer Greg Holland.
Alcides Escobar hit a three-run double and Eric Hosmer added an RBI single for the Royals, who took two of three from the White Sox over the weekend.
Royals second baseman Omar Infante left the game in the seventh inning after taking a Heath Bell change-up to the face. He left the game bleeding and will be evaluated on Tuesday.
Holland relieved Vargas in the ninth and allowed one run, but settled down to earn his third save of the season.
Ben Zobrist went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and Matt Joyce added a pinch-hit RBI single.
Matt Moore (0-2) left the game in the fifth inning with a left elbow injury. The southpaw delivered a pitch to Royals outfielder Norichika Aoki and grimaced in pain. He was visited at the mound by manager Joe Maddon and the Rays training staff before exiting.
"There is so much stress going on in that joint. That would suck if that were the case for me," Moore said of the possibility of a serious injury to his elbow. "At this point the tests and stress stuff they're doing on me is not making me feel too concerned in that regard."
He allowed one run on four hits before leaving.
The Royals got on the board in the first inning. Aoki tripled to lead off the frame then scored when Hosmer stroked a base hit to left field.
Kansas City tacked on three more in the sixth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Escobar hammered Heath Bell's offering to the wall in left field to clear the bases.
Zobrist led off the ninth with a towering homer deep into the seats in left field, spelling the end of Moore's night. Later in the frame, Logan Forsythe moved to second on a James Loney ground out then scored on Joyce's base hit that just cleared the glove of a leaping Danny Valencia and into right field.
Holland then got David DeJesus to strike out on a foul tip to seal the win.
Vargas struck out two and walked one in the win ... The Royals placed left- handers Francisley Bueno and Tim Collins on the 15-day disabled list and recalled lefty Donnie Joseph and right-hander Michael Mariot from Omaha ... Aoki went 2-for-4 ... Tampa Bay was 1-for-5 with RISP and left six runners on base.