Well, hey, welcome back to The Trop, Elliot Johnson.

The long-time Tampa Bay Ray, playing Thursday night at Tropicana Field for the first time as an opponent, ignited and capped an eight-run sixth inning that carried the Royals to a 10-1 victory.

Sort of a remember-me kiss, and Johnson didn’t pretend it didn’t mean more coming against the Rays than, say, the Indians or Orioles.

“Sure, it does,” he said. “The first time I’ve been back here. I had a lot of good times, a lot of good years with them. I’ve moved on. I play for the Royals now, and I’ll do everything I can to help this team win.”

That everything, on this night, totaled three hits in four at-bats, two runs scored and three RBIs. Two of those hits came in the sixth inning; a leadoff single and a three-run knockout homer.

The final score reflects a blowout, but this was a scoreless pitchers’ duel between Ervin Santana and Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Hellickson when Johnson opened the sixth by snapping a zero-for-14 skid with a sharp single to right.

That marked a third straight inning that the Royals put their leadoff hitter on base. Hellickson, 4-3, barely broke a sweat in the fourth and fifth innings.

This was different.

“He was good,” first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “But after a couple of times through facing him, we had more of an idea of what his plan was. Just key at-bats with runners in scoring position.”

After Johnson’s single, Alcides Escobar’s attempted sacrifice spun foul up the third-base line, which turned into a good thing when he ripped the next pitch past third for a double. Yes, he pulled the ball, hard, past third.