ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — All the Kansas City Royals needed to end a long losing skid was a road trip. It helps that it led off with Tampa Bay.
Emil Brown hit a three-run home run and Odalis Perez won for the first time since late April as the Royals beat the Devil Rays 9-4 on Saturday night.
Brown hit his second home run of the season during a four-run fourth that put the Royals ahead 8-1. Kansas City has won two in a row at Tampa Bay following a seven-game losing streak, all at home.
“We get alive when we’re not at home,” Brown said. “We play in some hitters’ parks sometimes. At home, a lot of our balls get knocked down, or balls that are usually hits are outs. As long as we stay away from ‘The K’ we’re all right.”
The Royals are 12-14 on the road, compared to a 9-21 mark at Kauffman Stadium, and have won eight of their last 10 road games.
Perez (3-5) gave up four runs and eight hits in five-plus innings. He had been winless in six starts, three of them losses, since beating Minnesota on April 25.
“This is nice to have a win like that, seeing these guys score eight runs in the first four innings,” Perez said.
Tony Pena extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI infield single during the Royals’ four-run second off Edwin Jackson (0-7). After Pena’s hit made it 1-0, David DeJesus snapped an 0-for-12 slide with a two-run double. Mark Grudzielanek’s run-scoring grounder extended the lead to 4-0.
Jackson was pulled with two on and one out in the fourth. Jackson allowed six runs and six hits in 31/3 innings.