Vargas shines, Royals score five in the 8th to beat Rays

Kansas City Royals starter Jason Vargas (51) tags out Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Kiermaier on a bunt down the first base line during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 11, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Major league ERA leader Jason Vargas went seven more scoreless innings, Salvador Perez had a two-run double during a five-run eighth inning and the Kansas City Royals beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-0 on Thursday.

Vargas (5-1) scattered three hits and dropped his ERA from 1.19 to 1.01.

Jorge Bonifacio hit an RBI single off Diego Moreno in the decisive eighth before Whit Merrifield had a run-scoring single and then circled the bases when center fielder Kevin Kiermaier misplayed the hit for a three-base error.

Merrifield also homered for the Royals, who won three of four against the Rays. Kansas City had lost 13 of 16 entering the series.

Jake Odorizzi (2-2) gave up one run and four hits in six innings for the Rays. He had allowed three hits or fewer in each of his previous four starts.

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