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06/13/2013 11:53 PM EDT
KC's Elliot Johnson has 3-run homer against Rays
KANSAS CITY 10, TAMPA BAY 1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Elliot Johnson has some fond
memories of his years with the Rays. None might have been
sweeter than his return to Tampa Bay with the Kansas City Royals
on Thursday night.



Johnson had a three three-run homer for his second hit of an
eight-run sixth inning, leading the surging Royals to a 10-1
victory over the Rays.



"It's hard to describe the first time back," he said. "I wish
everyone would get a chance to understand what it's like and
it's really hard even to put into words."



Traded to Kansas City by the Rays in February, Johnson led off
the big inning with a single and chased Jeremy Hellickson (4-3)
with his second homer of the season, both coming off Hellickson.



Johnson got his third hit of the game in the eighth inning and
is 6 for 11 with four RBIs against his former team while batting
.202 with three RBIs against every other team.



"When they came into our place, I had a good series there,"
Johnson said. "I wasn't really playing that well, and Ned (Yost)
gave me some opportunities to play against them. I picked it up
and today played well again. It's good to get them anyway you
can, but it feels good to get them against them, of course.
(Former Rays pitcher James) Shields said the same thing; he
wishes he could pitch here."



"He gets fired up playing against these guys and he really
helped us out today," said Eric Hosmer, who homered off Jake
Odorizzi in the seventh.



Ervin Santana (5-5) gave up five hits and an unearned run in 7
2-3 innings.



The Royals, who have won eight of nine, set a franchise record
by holding an opponent to three runs or fewer in a 12th straight
game.



"Everything is going our way right now so we have to keep that
up," Santana said.



Hellickson lost for the first time since April 25, giving up
eight runs on 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings. He retired 15 of the 16
Royals he faced in the first five innings.



"He was locating his fastball and his changeup really kept us
off stride," said Kansas City bench coach Chino Cadiha, who was
acting manger while Yost attended his daughter's wedding in
Georgia. "I guess we figured it out in the sixth, and here we
go."



Johnson led off the sixth inning of a scoreless game with his
first hit. After Alcides Escobar's double, Alex Gordon drove in
the first run with Kansas City's third straight hit. Three more
singles and an RBI double by Miguel Tejada preceded Johnson's
homer to give the Royals an 8-0 lead. In all the Royals sent 11
men to the plate in the inning.



"I just fell behind to Elliot, the first batter of the inning,
and just couldn't stop it after that," Hellickson said. "I'm
pretty frustrated. It wasn't a fun game. Eight runs, it's
unacceptable."



It was the Royals' biggest inning of the season, exceeding the
seven runs they scored in the third inning at Los Angeles on May
15.



Gordon had two hits in raising his road batting average to .381,
compared to .231 at home.



Matt Joyce had two hits for the Rays, who have lost four of
five.



NOTES: The Rays optioned Odorizzi to Triple-A Durham after the
game and took pitcher Alex Cobb off the bereavement list. ...
Tampa Bay LHP David Price (strained left triceps) threw 54
pitches over three innings in a simulated game. The AL Cy Young
Award winner could rejoin the rotation in late June or early
July. ... Rays 3B Evan Longoria got his second break from
playing on the artificial turf in five games, getting the start
as the DH. Kelly Johnson made his first start this season at
third in place of Longoria. ... RHP Nate Adcock, designated for
assignment by the Royals on June 6, was claimed on waivers by
Arizona. He was optioned to Triple-A Reno. ... Tampa Bay LHP
Matt Moore (8-2) looks to stop a two-game skid, in which he
allowed 15 runs, in Friday night's game with the Royals. RHP
Luis Mendoza (1-3) will start for Kansas City.

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