And the Royals needed to overcome a pair of two-run homers by
Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion to earn the 8-6 victory in
10 innings and snap a four-game losing streak while ending the Blue
Jays' run of nine straight wins.
A throwing error by Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes with two out in
the ninth inning allowed the Royals to tie the game.
They won the opener of a four-game series on a two-run single in the
10th inning by second baseman Omar Infante, who had three RBIs in
"No excuse, you know," Reyes said. "I should make a better throw
"Encarnacion is probably the hottest hitter on the planet right
now," said Royals manager Ned Yost, who earlier in the day shuffled
his coaching staff.
"I was really pleased with the way we swung the bats tonight. We
were driving balls. We just had some great at-bats. The offense kept
coming; they kept producing runs."
Encarnacion's homers in the fourth and sixth innings gave him 16 in
May, a club record for any month, and 18 for the season.
It was Encarnacion's fifth multi-homer game of the month, tying the
major-league record set by Harmon Killebrew in May 1959 and equaled
by Albert Belle in September 1995.
"Don't know what to tell other than it's pretty amazing," Blue Jays
manager John Gibbons said. "He's a special guy and he's locked in
right now. I don't know where it goes down in history but it's
pretty historic in my mind."
The Blue Jays were poised for a 10th consecutive win in the ninth,
especially after right fielder Jose Bautista threw designated hitter
Billy Butler out at first on a line drive to right field for the
second out with no runners on.
Right-hander Casey Janssen, who was trying for his ninth save, then
allowed a bloop single by left fielder Alex Gordon. Pinch-runner
Jarrod Dyson stole second and scored when Reyes bounced the throw to
first on a grounder by catcher Salvador Perez, who hit his fifth
homer of the season.
"I saw the ball kick out and just turned on the boosters," Dyson
said. "We did a great job today. We were facing a hot team that had
swept their last three teams. I thought we did a great job to come
over here and kind of break that up a little bit and get going."
"It was a routine ground ball, I got it perfect, I just didn't have
enough on the throw," Reyes said. "It's not good. I have to make
that play any time. In that situation with two out, I have to make
"As soon as I let it go, I knew this was not going to be a good
throw. I'm not allowed to make that kind of throw in that
In the 10th, right-hander Todd Redmond (0-4) gave up a leadoff
single to shortstop Alcides Escobar and hit third baseman Pedro
Ciriaco with a pitch that grazed his helmet.
Right fielder Nori Aoki sacrificed the runners to second and third.
Infante drove in both with a single to left.
Right-hander Wade Davis (4-1) pitched two innings for the win and
right-hander Greg Holland worked the 10th for his 15th save of the
Reyes struck out for the final out of the game to end his 11-game
[to top of second column]
Bautista also hit a two-run homer for the Blue Jays (32-23). Perez
belted a solo homer for the Royals (25-28).
Toronto right-hander R.A. Dickey lasted five-plus innings, allowing
10 hits and five runs while striking out seven. Steve Delabar took
over and completed the sixth to keep the Royals' lead at 5-4.
Royals right-hander James Shields allowed three two-run homers among
his eight hits and gave up six runs in seven innings.
"That's probably one of the hottest-hitting teams in the big leagues
right now," Shields said. "I made three bad pitches and they
capitalized on them."
The Blue Jays took a 6-5 lead in the sixth when Encarnacion homered
to left after designated Adam Lind singled with two out.
Bautista hit his 13th homer of the season after left fielder Melky
Cabrera doubled with one out in the first to give the Blue Jays a
Perez answered for the Royals with his fifth homer of the season in
the second. Doubles by first baseman Eric Hosmer and Gordon in the
fourth tied the score.
The Blue Jays regained their two-run lead in the bottom of the
fourth with Encarnacion following Lind's single with a home run to
The Royals scored three runs in the fifth to take a 5-4 lead.
Escobar led off with a single and scored on a double by Ciriaco.
Aoki bunted for a single and Infante had an RBI single. After Hosmer
was retired on a fly to the left-field wall, Butler came through
with an RBI single.
NOTES: The Royals shuffled their staff before Thursday's game,
moving Dale Sveum to hitting coach from third-base coach, Pedro
Grifol from hitting coach to catching instructor and longtime
minor-league manager Mike Jirschele to third-base coach. Sveum was
hitting coach with Milwaukee from 2009 to 2011 while Jirschele
filled in as first-base coach earlier this season when Rusty Kuntz
suffered a broken wrist in late April. ... The Royals entered
Thursday last in the American League in runs (197), home runs (21)
and in OPS (.654). ... The Blue Jays had a string of 38 straight
games with an extra-base hit -- including 10 in a row with a home
run -- snapped in Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. ...
LHP Jason Vargas (4-2, 3.55 ERA) will start Friday for the Royals
against Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (4-1, 3.24).
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