Brad Boxberger was back. And then he was gone again.
For Boxberger, the comeback lasted 16 pitches. He retired two batters. He gave up a home run and a single.
And that was it.
Boxberger, the reliever of the Tampa Bay Rays, strained something in his left side Tuesday night, adding even more of a pall in a 10-5 loss to the Kansas City Royals. The Royals had 18 hits in the game, including at least one by 10 position players. Lorenzo Cain and Kendrys Morales each hit two run homers.
The Rays also hit the ball well. They had 13 hits, including three each by Evan Longoria, Brad Miller and Steven Souza. Logan Morrison and Corey Dickerson had two hits each. But the Rays were three-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
“We couldn’t find that big hit,” said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash.
The Rays’ Drew Smyly threw only four innings, giving up eight earned runs. He got 12 outs but gave up 12 hits.
Tampa Bay has now lost nine out of eleven games and fell six games below .500. They start Chris Archer today in an effort to avoid a sweep.