KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) --
needed only half an inning to atone for an error.
Mayne, who had a costly error in the top of the seventh inning, came up with a key single in the bottom half as the
Kansas City Royals
blew a big lead but rallied to defeat the
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
The Royals snapped a four-game skid and ended the
' season-high four-game winning streak.
"After you lose four games and play the way we have played, this game was one of the most important games we've played this season," Royals manager
said. "No question about that. You could feel that. We just tried to concentrate."
"I was pretty sure (Malaska) was going to throw me a slider," Mayne said. "He kind of left it up a little bit and I was able to get the bat on the ball."
"We've won four in a row, then take the lead in the top of the seventh," Tampa Bay manager
said. "You'd like to think you can hold onto a lead, but we're pitching a lot of young kids and the inexperience shows."
(1-0) gave up three runs - one earned - in 2/3 inning but got the win, his first with the Royals since being obtained from Milwaukee on July 2.
"Anytime you win a game, it doesn't matter if the score is 20-19, whatever, as long as you win, it's what it's all about," Leskanic said.
allowed one hit but struck out the side in the ninth to record his 25th save in 31 opportunities.
Tampa Bay scored six times in the top of the seventh to grab an 8-7 lead. With the
trailing, 7-6, and runners at the corners with one out,
stole second and catcher Mayne threw the ball off shortstop Berroa and into shallow center field.
trotted home from third and the speedy Crawford came all the way around to give the
"I threw it short," Mayne said. "It took a couple bad hops on guys."
"I can't even tell you what the heck happened out there," Leskanic said. "Sometimes you go out and pitch and you're so locked in to what you're doing to each hitter that you forget what happens. I remember looking up at the scoreboard and noticing that we're winning, 7-6, and then I walked off the mound we're losing, 8-7. I gave up a couple of hits. It was a funny inning."
The Royals countered with four runs in the bottom of the inning off
. Tucker had an RBI groundout and Relaford a run-scoring infield single to tie the game before
made it 3-2 with an RBI single that chased Bell.
greeted Jon Switzer, who was making his big league debut, with a sacrifice fly to cap the burst.
, whose smacked his 16th homer leading off the fifth inning, gave the Royals a 7-2 cushion one frame later by following
's RBI single with one of his own against Switzer.
Bell, who had won his last two decisions, allowed four runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings. Switzer had a rough debut, surrendering three runs and four hits in 2 2/3 innings.
"The story of the last two games is that our starting pitchers have gone one inning (
on Friday) and three innings (tonight)," Piniella said.
Pitching on three days' rest,
gave up five runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings.
was slated to start Saturday but had to pitch in emergency relief for the injured
"(May) was throwing the ball so well into the seventh inning," Pena said. "He still felt very strong, but at that point, if anything had happened, we would have taken him out. Maybe we waited a little too long because Leskanic was not ready to go. He was throwing the ball well."
The Royals snapped a six-game home losing streak.
"One thing you can sense when you're in the bullpen is that no one panics," Leskanic said. "They say, 'We're gonna come back. We're going to be fine.' It's contagious. Everyone has it."