Royals ride four-run sixth for DH sweep of Rays

Royals ride four-run sixth for DH sweep of Rays

KANSAS CITY -- Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar drilled a bases-clearing double in the sixth inning that broke the game open, and Alex Gordon had four hits and four RBIs as the Royals completed a doubleheader sweep with a 7-1 victory over the Rays on Tuesday night.

"You have to credit [the Royals]," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "They're good. They put the ball in play. They make a lot of action happen."

The Royals won Game 1, 9-5, on Paulo Orlando's walk-off grand slam in the ninth.

Right-hander Edinson Volquez started the nightcap for the Royals and labored through five innings -- he gave up just one run, but threw 101 pitches.

"He made pitches when he needed to," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Added Volquez, "I never really got loose tonight and had trouble with the grip [in the rain]. But I felt lucky to get through five."

John Jaso had two hits for the Rays, including his first homer of 2015, a rocket into the right-field corner.

Escobar's marathon at-bat: Escobar isn't necessarily known for his long at-bats, but he battled Rays reliever Brandon Gomes as if it were the seventh game of the World Series. Even more amazing, Escobar was down 0-2 to start the at-bat. There was little doubt that his double would score three runs -- speedy Jarrod Dyson was on first and running on the pitch. Dyson literally jogged home after he rounded third. Dyson, by the way, walked twice, singled, stole a base and scored three runs. More >

Escobar's three-run double

"For me [the Escobar at-bat] was worth the price of admission," Yost said. "I don't know what else to say. That was worth the price of a ticket. He just kept battling and fighting pitches off until he got one he could hit down the line."

Yost also was convinced that Dyson was going to score on the double.

"As soon as you see the ball gets past the third baseman, there's no doubt in your mind it's a three-run double."

Jaso's return: Jaso got a pinch-hit single in the first game of the doubleheader. He started the nightcap and doubled in his first at-bat then added his first home run of the season in his second at-bat. Jaso, who had been on the disabled list since the Rays' first game of the season, woke up on Tuesday in Durham, N.C., caught a plane to Atlanta and arrived in Kansas City, where he was in uniform prior to the start of Game 1.

Jaso's solo homer

Gordon's big day: Gordon was moved to the No. 2 spot in the batting order, replacing Final Vote candidate Mike Moustakas, who is on the bereavement/family emergency list. Gordon responded with a seven-hit day on Tuesday. His RBI single in the fifth tied the score at 1 and his RBI single in the sixth capped the four-run inning. He added a two-run double to the opposite field in the eighth.

Gordon's seven-hit day

"It's fun watching him," Yost said. "When he's struggling, you know these stretches are right around the corner. He can hit and be as hot as a firecracker. It's fun to see. Had a big, big day for us."

Gordon survived a hit by pitch on his right hand in the first game. X-rays after the opener were negative.

"That's always scary when you get hit in the hand," Gordon said. "You hear stories about how bad it can be. But it's just really bruised, but fine."

Rays: Right-hander and All-Star Chris Archer gets the ball for the third of this four-game set on Wednesday at 8:10 p.m. CT. Despite posting his fifth scoreless start of the season on Friday at New York when he pitched 6 2/3 innings, he came away with a no-decision.

Royals: Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will start on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Guthrie has been tough at home of late, posting a 2.01 ERA over his previous five starts at The K. He is 2-1 in that span and has held opponents to a .195 average.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.