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Rays see what a playoff team looks like in Royals

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Perhaps the Rays should stop talking about this wild-card race.

After all, it is moving away from them so fast they can barely see it.

The Rays dropped a 6-3 decision to the Kansas City Royals Saturday night, its fifth loss in its last six games. It dropped Tampa Bay to three games under .500.

Don’t worry, however. If the Rays want to see what a playoff team looks like, they can merely glance at the Royals, who give up runs grudgingly and seem to collect plenty themselves. Kansas City is 31 games over .500 and doesn’t seem to be sneaking up on the playoffs. It is doing a full-frontal assault.

For the fourth time in the last five games, the Rays’ starting pitcher failed to go five innings. This time, it was Jake Odorizzi, who lasted only 4 2/3 even though he was still the pitcher of record when Kevin Kiermaier hit a two-run homer and the Rays took a 3-2 lead.

Asdrubal Cabrera made two errors, each letting in runs, in the defeat.

The Royals’ bullpen doesn’t give up a lot of runs. Friday night, it shut out the Rays for the final six innings of the game. This time, it shut them out for the final five. Playoff teams are like that. They tend to smother an opponent.

The Royals are now 6-0 on the season against Tampa Bay.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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