KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Jimmy Gobble pitched into the seventh
inning in his major league debut, and Aaron Guiel hit an
inside-the-park homer as the Kansas City Royals beat the Tampa Bay
Devil Rays 2-0 Sunday.
Guiel hit Kansas City's second inside-the-park shot of the
series, and Joe Randa was 2-for-4 with a home run as the Royals
stayed atop the AL Central despite managing only four hits.Angel Berroa hit an inside-the-park homer Friday in a 9-6 loss.Gobble (1-0), called up from Double-A Wichita on Saturday, gave
up six hits in six-plus innings with three strikeouts and one walk.
He was replaced by Curtis Leskanic after giving up a leadoff double
to Damian Rolls.Leskanic got out of the seventh, and Jeremy Affeldt struck out
three in two perfect innings for his first career save.The six-hitter was Kansas City's fifth shutout of the season.
Tampa Bay has been blanked eight times.Gobble is the eighth Royals pitcher to win his major league
debut and the first since Glendon Rusch on April 6, 1997.Jeremi Gonzalez (4-5) took the complete-game loss for Tampa Bay
despite retiring 15 batters in a row between Randa's third-inning
single and Brent Mayne's one-out single in the eighth.Gonzalez struck out three and walked one in his third career
complete game and first since 1998 with the Chicago Cubs.Gobble's toughest challenge came when Jared Sandberg and Julio
Lugo opened the Devil Rays' third with back-to-back singles. Gobble
got Carl Crawford to ground into a fielder's choice, advancing
Sandberg to third, then struck out Antonio Perez and Rocco
Baldelli.The last pitch to Baldelli was the most impressive of the day.
With the count 2-2 and Crawford running from first, Gobble froze
Baldelli with a breaking ball at the knees.Gobble also had runners in scoring position in the fifth and
sixth, both times with two outs.Randa homered with one out in the first inning, and Guiel made
it 2-0 with one out in the third when his line drive hit the wall
in the right-field corner and skipped past Rolls. By the time Rolls
tracked the ball down, Guiel was rounding third.
Kansas City's three inside-the-park homers this season are
its most since hitting four in 1992. The club record is seven in
1979. ... Baldelli went 0-for-4, snapping a 10-game hitting streak.
... Crawford stole two bases, giving him sole possession of the AL
lead and the Devil Rays' single-season record with 33. He had been
tied with Jason Tyner (31 steals in 2001). ... Kansas City is 37-0
this season when holding opponents to three or fewer runs.