ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Sam Fuld hit a game-tying triple and then scored on an errant throw to complete a five-run ninth Wednesday night as the Tampa Bay Rays rallied to beat the Kansas City Royals 8-7.
Fuld hit a drive to right center off closer Joakim Soria (5-5) and wound up scoring the winning run when second baseman Johnny Giavotella was charged with an error for a bad relay throw to third.
After Aaron Crow gave up consecutive singles in the ninth, Soria entered and gave up an RBI double to Evan Longoria, a run-scoring grounder by Ben Zobrist and Casey Kotchman's RBI infield single before Fuld's two-out hit. Soria has blown 7 saves in 28 opportunties this season.
Salvador Perez got his first career hit, RBI and made several key defensive plays in his major league debut and Melky Cabrera homered and drove in five runs for Kansas City.
The Royals purchased the contract of the highly-regarded catcher from Triple-A Omaha. The 21-year old had a seventh-inning single in three at-bats and added a sacrifice fly. He also picked Kotchman off first during the fourth and Fuld at third in the eighth.
Cabrera had a pair of sacrifice flys and extended the lead to 7-3 with a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth off Jake McGee (1-1).
Matt Joyce homered for the Rays. Johnny Damon singled in the ninth to tie George Davis for 65th place on the career hits list with 2,683.
Perez had a stretch starting with two outs in the fifth where he recorded seven straight putouts, coming on two strikeouts and five pop flys.
Royals starter Felipe Paulino allowed one run, three hits and four walks in five innings.
Kansas City went up 2-0 in the fourth on a run-scoring triple by Giavotella and Perez's sac fly off Wade Davis. The duo are among the 15 different rookies to play for Kansas City this season.
Cabrera made it 3-0 on a fifth-inning sacrifice fly. He had another sac fly in the seventh.
Joyce, batting lead-off for the first time in place of Desmond Jennings, who was rested, cut the deficit to 3-1 with a solo shot in the fifth.
Kotchman pulled Tampa Bay within 3-2 on a sixth-inning RBI single. Joyce fouled out to Perez on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded to end the inning.
After Jennings had a one-out pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth, Perez helped preserve the 4-3 lead by picking off Fuld. Greg Holland then struck out Sean Rodriguez.
Davis gave up four runs and six hits over 61â„3 innings.
Notes: Rays right-hander Alex Cobb will undergo surgery Friday to remove a blockage in the area of his first right rib. The rookie is expected to be completely recovered by the start of spring training. ... Kansas City rookie LHP Danny Duffy (3-5) will make his 15th big league start today. "It's a great experience for him up here," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He's got a chance to be a good one, but it's still a process, especially with a young pitcher. Just let him continue to pitch." ... Tampa Bay RHP Jeff Niemann (6-4), today's scheduled starter, is 5-0 in eight starts since returning from a lower back strain.