Kansas City, MO – Luke Hochevar tossed the second shutout of his career as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-0, in the opener of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
Hochevar (5-7) struck out eight while scattering seven hits and a walk to record his first shutout since September 18, 2009.
"I just felt like I made good pitches tonight," Hochevar said. "I felt [Royals catcher Salvador Perez] called a great game, we played great defense and obviously swung the bats really well. When everything like that comes together, it usually makes for a pretty good night."
Yuniesky Betancourt had three RBI while Eric Hosmer homered and knocked in a pair for the Royals, who snapped a three-game slide.
Alex Cobb (3-4) gave up eight runs on 13 hits in his first career complete game for the Rays, whose bullpen was shorthanded after a day-night doubleheader on Sunday.
"The first three, four innings it was a grind. I felt like everything I was throwing up there was getting hit, almost like they knew what was coming," said Cobb.
Tampa Bay, which did not record an extra-base hit in the contest, lost for the fourth time in six games.
After the Rays left a man on second in the top of the first inning, Kansas City broke through in the bottom of the frame when Alex Gordon hit a leadoff double and came home two batters later on a double to right by Mike Moustakas that bounced off the tip of Ben Zobrist's glove.
Tampa Bay stranded the tying run on third in the third inning before the Royals added to their lead in the home half.
Alcides Escobar and Gordon started the rally with back-to-back singles and moved up to second and third on a wild pitch before both came home on Betancourt's base hit up the middle.
Jeff Francoeur, Hosmer and Perez would later hit three straight RBI singles to extend Kansas City's advantage up to 6-0.
Betancourt's sacrifice fly in the fourth inning and Hosmer's solo shot to left-center field in the eighth capped the scoring as Hochevar did not allow a runner to advance past first base after stranding a man on second in the fifth inning.
Hochevar improved to 2-2 in seven career appearances against the Rays...Cobb fell to 1-1 in two starts against Kansas City...Tampa Bay leads the all-time series between the teams, 65-49...The Royals hit 6-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left three men on base...The Rays went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded six.