Elliot Johnson had a three three-run homer for his second hit of an eight-run sixth inning Thursday night, leading the surging Kansas City Royals to a 10-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Johnson, who was traded to Kansas City by the Rays in February, led off the big inning with a single and chased Jeremy Hellickson (4-3) with his second homer of the season, both coming against Tampa Bay.
Johnson got his third hit of the game in the eighth inning and is 6 for 11 with four RBIs against his former team while batting .202 with three RBIs against every other team.
Ervin Santana (5-5) gave up five hits and an unearned run in 7 2-3 innings.
The Royals, who have won eight of nine, set a franchise record by holding an opponent to three runs or fewer in a 12th straight game.
Hellickson lost for the first time since April 25, giving up eight runs on 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings.
Johnson led off the sixth inning of a scoreless game with a single. After Alcides Escobar’s double, Alex Gordon drove in the first run with Kansas City’s third straight hit. Three more singles and an RBI double by Miguel Tejada preceded Johnson’s three-run homer to give the Royals an 8-0 lead. In all the Royals sent 11 men to the plate in the inning.