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Rays Vs. Royals Preview: Tampa Bay Looks For Sustained Success Against Reeling Kansas City

The Tampa Bay Rays open a three game series with the Kansas City Royals on Monday. The Rays are look to sustain success off of the doubleheader sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.

June 20, 2012; Washington, D.C., USA; Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Carlos Pena (23) singles in the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. The Nationals defeated the Rays 3 - 2. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE
June 20, 2012; Washington, D.C., USA; Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Carlos Pena (23) singles in the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. The Nationals defeated the Rays 3 - 2. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

The Tampa Bay Rays finished their disappointing stretch of interleague play by sweeping a day-night doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Kansas City Royals on the other hand, had won seven of their last nine games before being swept by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Both teams begin a three game series in Kansas City on Monday. The Rays will send pitcher Alex Cobb (3-3, 3.82 ERA) to the hill. His last start, against the Miami Marlins on June 17, he went seven shut-out innings, allowing only two hits.

The Royals on the other hand will send pitcher Luke Hochevar (4-7, 5.65 ERA) to the mound. In his last start against the Houston Astros on June 19, Hochevar went seven and two-thirds shut out innings allowing only five hits with six strike outs.

If there is a player that has matched up well against Hochevar in his career, its Carlos Pena. Pena has gone six-for-twelve with a double in his entire career against Kansas City.

The game is scheduled for an 8:10 eastern time start from Kaufmann Stadium in Kansas City. Television coverage will be provided by Sunshine Sports with radio coverage provided by 620 WDAE AM and 680 WGES AM.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.