ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Kansas City gave this one away.
Pinch-runner Kevin Stocker scored the go-ahead run on Jose Santiago's eighth-inning wild pitch and two runs scored on Joe Randa's fifth-inning throwing error as the Royals lost to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 5-4 Thursday.
"We gave them four runs and still made a game out of it," Kansas City manager Tony Muser said. "Jose made one mistake, Joe made one mistake and (Johnny) Damon made one mistake. Other than that, it was a heck of a game."
Tampa Bay's Fred McGriff homered in the second inning, his 10th of the season and fifth in five games. Since missing three games because of a bruise near his right eye, McGriff is 17-for-38 (.447) with seven homers and 13 RBIs.
"He's always had a pretty swing because he's not a dead pull hitter," Tampa Bay manager Larry Rothschild said. "With the bat speed being what is right now, it's fun to watch."
McGriff went 2-for-3, including a fourth-inning double that glanced off Damon's glove on the center field warning track. McGriff later scored on Paul Sorrento's double.
Herbert Perry singled with one out in the eighth off Alvin Morman (1-1). Sorrento followed with single that moved Perry to third.
Santiago replaced Morman and, after retiring Bobby Smith, threw a wild pitch that allowed Stocker -- who ran for Perry -- to score.
"I didn't try to do too much," said Santiago about the hard sinker in the dirt that got past catcher Tim Spehr. "I tried to throw low and get a ground ball ... that's what we needed."
The wild pitch was Santiago's first over 19 innings this season.
"Jose just tried to make a tremendous pitch," Muser said. "I don't think anybody could block that one."
Scott Aldred (2-0) retired one batter in the eighth, and Roberto Hernandez pitched a perfect ninth for his AL-best 11th save in 12 opportunities.
Tampa Bay benefited from a two-out throwing error by Randa in the fifth inning that broke a 2-2 tie.
Royals starter Jim Pittsley walked McGriff, loading the bases with two outs. Perry then hit a ground ball down the line that Randa backhanded, but the throw hit Perry near first base and two runs scored.
Pittsley went 4 2-3 innings, allowing four runs -- two earned -- and six hits.
Randa's RBI single got the Royals within one run in the sixth inning and Kansas City tied the game in the seventh when Chad Kreuter hit into a bases-loaded double play.
Tampa bay starter Rolando Arrojo went seven innings, allowing four runs and 10 hits. In his four starts at home -- three losses and Thursday's no decision -- he has allowed 17 runs and 35 hits in 22 2-3 innings.
"I don't think it was vintage Rolando, but I liked it more than any other of his outings," Rothschild said. "He really battled at times."
Kansas City opened the scoring in the second on an RBI single by Carlos Febles. Tampa Bay tied the game when McGriff homered.
Rey Sanchez's two-out, run-scoring single put Kansas City up 2-1 in the fourth. The Devil Rays countered on Sorrento's double.