Joyce's bat, Sonnanstine's arm lift Rays past Royals; Longoria day to day

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Matt Joyce probably has earned himself more than three games with the Rays this time.

In his second game since being recalled from the minors, Joyce hit a tiebreaking two-run double and added a two-run homer, and Andy Sonnanstine allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings to lead the Tampa Bay Rays past the Kansas City Royals 6-2 Tuesday night.

"It's one thing to be here, but it's another thing to help the team win," said Joyce, who was brought up from Triple-A Durham late Saturday. "That's what you want. You want to come up and make an impression, have fun, win some ballgames and stick around."

Joyce made it 4-2 on his two-out double during the sixth off reliever Horacio Ramirez. He extended the lead with his third homer of the season in the eighth.

"Like I've been saying all along, this guy has a special bat," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It makes a different sound when he hits it. What you're seeing does not surprise me at all."

Joyce homered in his first game back Sunday. He played in three games early in early April before being sent to the minors April 13.

"Two games in the book. I'm pretty happy with the results," Joyce said. "Hopefully keep rolling."

Sonnanstine (4-5) gave up six hits and had three strikeouts, rebounding from a start last Wednesday at Cleveland when the right-hander allowed eight runs and nine hits in three innings.

"I had more conviction about my pitches," Sonnanstine said. "I stayed focused."

Tampa Bay, which won for the third time in nine games, also got a homer from Ben Zobrist.

Jose Guillen and Miguel Olivo homered for the Royals, who have lost five in a row and 10 of 12.

The Rays went up 2-1 after a two-run homer by Zobrist off Kyle Davies (2-5) in the fourth.

Davies lost his fourth consecutive start, allowing four runs, three hits and six walks over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out seven during his 114-pitch outing.

"It's a bad combo: extra-base hits, especially ones that get out of the ballpark, and walks," Royals manager Trey Hillman said.

Davies walked Willy Aybar and Zobrist with two outs in the sixth. Ramirez replaced him and gave up Joyce's go-ahead hit.

"Six walks in less than six innings is not good," Davies said.

Guillen put the Royals up 1-0 on a second-inning homer. Olivo tied it at 2 with solo shot during the fifth.

Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria left the game with tightness in his left hamstring, which occurred running out a grounder in the sixth. Gabe Gross pinch hit for Longoria, who was the designated hitter due to a sore throwing arm, in the seventh.

"It's probably just a day-to-day thing. I think the telltale thing's going to be tomorrow, how it feels when I wake up in the morning," Longoria said. "I don't really know when it happened, the first or second step after the base. But I didn't feel a pop, I didn't feel a pull. I think if it was something serious, I would be feeling it right now a lot more than I am."

The Rays said Longoria, the leading AL vote getter for this year's All-Star Game, will have an MRI exam Wednesday.

Game notes
Joyce had a career-best five RBIs on July 21, 2008 at Kansas City while with Detroit. The Rays obtained Joyce from the Tigers for RHP Edwin Jackson last December. ... The Royals reinstated closer Joakim Soria (right rotator cuff) and SS Tony Pena Jr. (left hand) from the 15-day disabled list, and put RHP Sidney Ponson (right elbow) on the DL. ... Tampa Bay DH Pat Burrell (neck) could resume batting practice this week. ... Kansas City C John Buck, hospitalized after hurting his lower back while to preparing to bat Saturday, has been released from the hospital and will be re-evaluated in five to seven days. ... Royals SS Mike Aviles (right forearm strain) was scheduled to undergo additional tests, including an MRI.