KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — This one could be a costly victory for the Kansas City Royals and an expensive loss for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Jason Vargas took a shutout into the ninth inning, Alcides Escobar hit a three-run double and the Royals beat the Rays 4-2 Monday night in a game that included two significant injuries.
Rays starter Matt Moore (0-2) came out in the fifth inning with a sore left elbow. The All-Star lefty grimaced after throwing a pitch to Norichika Aoki and was immediately removed by manager Joe Maddon.
Two innings later, Royals second baseman Omar Infante was hit in the left jaw by a pitch from Heath Bell. A bleeding Infante walked off the field under his own power.
Moore won 17 games last year, but missed 31 games with an elbow injury. He threw 78 pitches Monday and was replaced by Cesar Ramos.
"It has to be checked," Maddon said. "There will be tests tomorrow. We don't know what's going on yet. We'll get an update later. He tried to talk me out of taking him out but I said I didn't think it's a good idea. I went out there and I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. I like to communicate with our guys. He just felt something on a pitch. We knew we can't take any chances on anything."
Moore said his final pitch was a changeup.
"There was no particular pain," he said. "It really came out of nowhere. I felt it when I was pitching to Escobar, on a changeup, and then I threw two more changeups to Aoki and I felt it. I actually threw a curveball to Aoki to see if I would feel it then, too, but I didn't. It may have something to do with changeups in that situation."
Moore, who will have an MRI exam Tuesday, went on the disabled list last July 31 with a sore elbow and did not return until Sept. 3.
"It's the same pitch and the area is pretty much the exact same spot," Moore said.
Infante was spitting blood as trainers held a towel to his face.
"They put a number of stitches in there to close the cut," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "They are going to go scan it and see if his jaw is fractured. We'll know more later. I'm not going to make any decisions (on roster moves) until we find out what's going on with Omar and we'll move forward from there.
"He was bleeding tremendously from the cut. I didn't know until they had taken him upstairs that he got hit on the jaw. When we got there they had the towel (over his head) and there was blood all down his shirt. There was no cut on his forehead that I could see."