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Preview: Royals (48-49) at Rays (46-53)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 1
Venue: Tropicana Field
Date: June 13, 2013 7:10 PM EDT
  

Home-field advantage has been critical over the last three seasons when the Tampa Bay Rays meet the Kansas City Royals.

That should mean the Rays have a decided edge since they are hosting this four-game series with the Royals that begins Thursday night.

Only two of the last 15 meetings have been won by the visiting team. Kansas City (30-33) has lost seven of eight at Tropicana Field while getting limited to a .199 average and 14 runs. The Royals had 17 runs and 24 hits in sweeping a two-game home set against Tampa Bay (35-30) from April 30-May 1.

Kansas City is brimming with confidence heading into the opener of a seven-game trip after taking two of three from Detroit to pull within 5 1/2 games of the first-place Tigers.

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The Royals have won seven of eight overall after a dramatic 3-2, 10-inning victory Wednesday. Lorenzo Cain hit a tying, two-run homer off Jose Valverde with two outs in the ninth, and Eric Hosmer had the winning RBI single in the 10th.

"That was a great win," Hosmer said. "We're down to our last strike with the closer on the mound. That's just the character of this team. We're not going to give up until the last out is made."

Kansas City starters own a 1.90 ERA over the last eight games while the bullpen has yielded one run over its last 25 2-3 innings.

Cain has seven RBIs in his last six games, and Salvador Perez is batting .367 during an eight-game hitting streak. Cain and Perez combined to go 8 for 17 with four RBIs in the first series between these clubs.

Royals manager Ned Yost will miss this game to attend his daughter's wedding. Bench coach Chino Cadahia will manage in his place.

Tampa Bay had been surging offensively with 31 runs over a four-game stretch before being stifled in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Boston.

"They did a nice job against us because we've been scoring a lot of runs," manager Joe Maddon said.

Evan Longoria will try to homer in four consecutive games for the first time in his career after he had three solo shots as the Rays dropped two of three to the Red Sox.

Both teams will start right-handers Thursday.

Tampa Bay's Jeremy Hellickson (4-2, 5.18 ERA) hasn't lost since April 25, although that's mostly because of a 6.86 run support average that ranks among baseball's best.

Hellickson has been pitching better lately with victories in consecutive starts, including six stellar innings in Saturday's 8-0 win over Baltimore.

He's 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA in three starts against the Royals, yielding four runs over five innings in a 9-3 loss May 1. Billy Butler is 5 for 9 against him and Alex Gordon 4 for 9.

Kansas City's Ervin Santana (4-5, 2.99), meanwhile, owns a much lower run support average of 3.20. He earned his 100th victory Saturday by surrendering two runs in seven innings of a 7-2 win over Houston, also ending a personal four-game slide.

Santana's 6.84 ERA at Tropicana Field is his third-worst mark at any AL ballpark, and he's 2-5 in nine starts there.

Longoria (5 for 12 with two homers), Luke Scott (8 for 21 with two homers) and Yunel Escobar (7 for 17) have all fared well against Santana.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Royals at Rays
Thu, Jun 13 Final 10 to 1
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Royals at Rays
Fri, Jun 14 Final 7 to 2
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Royals at Rays
Sat, Jun 15 Final 3 to 5
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 4
Royals at Rays
Sun, Jun 16 Final 5 to 3
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 KAN  +135   -170   7.5 
 TAM  -145   +150   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 KAN  +134   -170   7.5 
 TAM  -144   +150   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 KAN  41%   50%   58% 
 TAM  59%   50%   42% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB HEAD TO HEAD
 May 2, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TAM 0 Under: 1 
 KAN 1 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Recaps
 May 1, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TAM 8 Over: 17 
 KAN 9 Cover: +102 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 30, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TAM 2 Over: 10 
 KAN 8 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps

 MLB PREVIEWS
 Thursday, Jun 13
 
    Cardinals at Mets
1:10 PM EDT
    Reds at Cubs
2:20 PM EDT
    Nationals at Rockies
3:10 PM EDT
    Yankees at Athletics
3:35 PM EDT
    Red Sox at Orioles
7:05 PM EDT
    Giants at Pirates
7:05 PM EDT
    Royals at Rays
7:10 PM EDT
    Blue Jays at Rangers
8:05 PM EDT
    Phillies at Twins
8:10 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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