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KC@TB: Moore on his upcoming start against Royals

While Royals right-hander Luis Mendoza has pitched at Tropicana Field only once, he sure did enjoy it.

"I like it because it's noisier with the dome," Mendoza said. "You hear it, but when you're pitching you really don't feel the crowd screaming or anything. But the noise makes it better."

Mendoza will get the second start of his career there Friday against the Rays in Game 2 of the four-game set.

"It's different for pitchers like me, sinkerballers," Mendoza said of the Trop.

That's because the ground balls go a lot quicker off the artificial turf that covers the grass area of the infield. While the right-hander understands the challenges of pitching at Tropicana Field, Mendoza does not believe they will faze him.

He will be up against Tampa Bay left-hander Matt Moore, who is hoping to break out of a two-game skid.

After lasting just two innings against the Tigers, Moore's funk carried over against the Orioles in his last start. He allowed nine runs (eight earned) on 12 hits in five innings of work.

Going 8-0 with a 2.18 ERA through the first two months of the season, the left-hander has allowed 14 earned runs on 19 hits in just seven innings over his last two starts.

"I mean 14-plus runs in those two games was pretty brutal; I'm looking to make a lot better pitches when I'm ahead in the count, unlike I did in my last start against Baltimore," Moore said. "It's kind of one of those things where if a couple of those pitches get made, hopefully the damage isn't as bad as it was.

"I looked at all the hits, which usually I don't look at the hits and where I was in those particular counts, but as many baseballs as they were squaring up, it had me eager to go into the video room and see what was going on."

Royals: Pitching staff sets record
In holding the Rays to one run Thursday, the Royals' pitching staff set a franchise record by limiting opponents to three runs or fewer in 12 straight games.

The streak dates back to a 4-1 extra-inning win against the Rangers on June 1.

Kansas City has posted a 9-3 record during the stretch.

Rays: Price does well in simulated game
Tampa Bay came away impressed with David Price's progress from the strained left triceps that put him on the disabled list after he threw a three-inning simulated game Thursday afternoon.

"Velocity on the fastball was way up there, I thought," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Slider, cutter, changeup, everything was outstanding. Delivery was good. I thought he looked ready to go."

Facing teammates Ryan Roberts, Sean Rodriguez and Sam Fuld, Price threw 54 pitches in three innings and even took time to sit down between innings as he would during a regular game.

"I felt great," Price said. "It was good to get back out on the mound and face hitters even though it was not a real game; it was my teammates. It's still good to get out there and see somebody standing in the box. It was a good day overall. I felt very strong."

Worth noting
• Triple-A Durham infielder Vince Belnome and Double-A Montgomery left-hander Enny Romero were named Rays Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for May.

• Mendoza is 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA on the road this season with four quality starts. In those four outings, opponents are hitting just .231. Comments