Right-hander Wade Davis will make his first start against his former ballclub on Sunday afternoon, as the Royals square off against the Rays in the finale of a four-game series.
Davis was acquired in the offseason from the Rays, along with Elliot Johnson and James Shields, in exchange for four Royals prospects, including Wil Meyers and Jake Odorizzi.
Davis, who is 3-5 with a 5.37 ERA through 13 games, said he will treat it like any other start.
"I'm doing what I usually do to stay relaxed," Davis said. "They've got a good offensive team."
Davis will be opposed by right-hander Roberto Hernandez. The Royals won the first two games, 10-1 and 7-2, but the Rays took the third with a 5-3 victory on Saturday.
"The thing about Wade is he's got a big arm," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We'll see early on what he's got going on. He's got a great curveball. He's got a nice changeup, but he's got a great curveball, slider and fastball. The big thing with him also is whether or not we can build up some pitches on him or not. If he's really sharp with his command, he can be very tough."
Shields defeated the Rays earlier in the season and Johnson hit a three-run homer against them on Thursday night, so the Rays are expecting Davis to have a strong start against them, too.
"I know he's struggled a little bit, reading his lines and everything, but I do expect him to pitch well," Maddon said. "They've played well. James pitched well. Elliot's played really well against us. So, I don't anticipate him to not play well. And listen, these are all good players. We knew that when we sent them out of here, that they were all good and they were a big part of what we have done here in the past. I truthfully wish them well, but not for the next couple days. They've already beaten up on us pretty good."
Hernandez is coming off a big effort last Tuesday night against the Red Sox -- pitching seven innings, while allowing three runs on seven hits with a career-high 122 pitches.
"I thought he kept getting better," Maddon said. "I actually thought it was better than the Miami start, I really did. I thought stuff was better, look was better, finished strong, 92 pitches compared to 122 pitches. Everything was really good this last outing."
Royals: Perez extends hitting streak
Catcher Salvador Perez extended his hitting streak to 11 games on Saturday with two hits, including a solo home run to left-center field in the seventh inning -- his third of the season.
Perez holds the franchise record for longest streak by a catcher with 17 games last season from Aug. 22 to Sept. 13.
Perez ranks second in the American League for hits by a catcher behind Joe Mauer of the Twins.
Rays: Cobb hit by liner, suffers mild concussion
Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb was hit in the right ear by a line drive off the bat of Eric Hosmer in the fifth inning on Saturday. Cobb was carted off the field and was immediately transported to Bayfront Medical Center.
Accompanied by team physician Dr. Michael Reilly, head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield and teammate David Price, Cobb was diagnosed with a mild concussion after all tests came back normal.
The speed of the ball coming off Hosmer's bat was measured at 102.4 mph. Cobb was conscious the entire time en route to the hospital.
Cobb pitched 4 1/3 innings allowing just two runs off of four hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
• Royals pitchers ended a 13-game streak of allowing three or fewer runs in Saturday's 5-3 loss.
• Matt Joyce hit home runs in consecutive games against the Royals with his solo shot to right field in the fifth inning on Saturday after hitting his third career leadoff jack on Friday.
• The Rays scored four of their five runs off of home runs on Saturday.
Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.