St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Jeremy Hellickson struck out six over seven strong innings Monday as the Tampa Bay Rays topped the Kansas City Royals, 5-1, in the opener of a three-game set at Tropicana Field.
Hellickson (8-8) allowed just one run on six hits and a walk to earn his first home victory since May 16, a span of seven winless starts.
Jeff Keppinger crushed a solo home run, while Desmond Jennings, Jose Lobaton and Elliot Johnson each registered two hits and an RBI as the Rays won their fifth straight contest.
Will Smith (4-5) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.
Alex Gordon finished with two hits and knocked in the lone run for the Royals, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.
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