A disappointing series in Kansas City resulted in two losses and just one win for the Blue Jays. Both offense and pitching failed the team, and unlike the series in Houston, solo home runs weren’t enough. In this article, we recap the Blue Jays – Royals three game series.
Taking the mound Friday night for the Blue Jays was recently acquired lefty Francisco Liriano. Liriano, 6-11, made his Blue Jays pitching debut against Kansas City’s Dillon Gee (3-5). His ERA has been extremely high throughout the first half of the season, posting a whopping 7.03 in the month of June alone, but in 33 career starts with Russell Martin as catcher, he has a 2.92 ERA. Through six innings, Liriano delivered a quality start, as he only allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits and striking out five. Brett Cecil, in relief, eventually earned the win after Devon Travis hit a solo home run, his second of the game (also hit a leadoff home run), breaking a 3-3 tie. Soon after Travis’s home run, Josh Donaldson was hit in the ear flap with a pitch, but remained in the game after the blow. Final score: 4-3 Blue Jays – W: Cecil – L: Herrera – SV: Benoit.
Game two of the three game set saw Aaron Sanchez (11-1) take the mound against Danny Duffy (7-1). Sanchez held one of the lowest ERA’s in baseball at 2.71, while Danny Duffy’s last appearance against the Tampa Bay Rays saw him strike out an impressive 16 batters through eight innings. Devon Travis, yet again, hit a leadoff home run, and singled again in the top of the fifth to drive in Kevin Pillar and make the score 2-0 for Toronto. The Royals came back in the bottom half of the fifth to score three runs, including a two-out single off the bat of Eric Hosmer with the bases loaded. Aaron Sanchez, through six innings, wasn’t at his best, allowing four earned runs off of nine hits and struck out three. Danny Duffy, through 6.2 innings, held the Jays to five hits and 2 earned runs after striking out six. Final score: 4-2 Royals – W: Duffy – L: Sanchez – SV: Herrera.
In the final game of the series, Marcus Stroman (8-4) took the mound against Yordano Ventura (6-9) of the Royals. The Toronto offense managed to collect only six hits, all singles. Only once did they collect two hits in an inning, when Melvin Upton Jr. and Troy Tulowitzki singled. Darwin Barney scored Toronto’s only run off of a wild pitch from Peter Moylan. Taking advantage of the Blue Jays offensive slump, Kansas City did just the opposite. In the bottom of the fifth, Alcides Escobar hit a solo home run just over the fence in centre field, and although it was originally called a home run on the field, the Blue Jays challenged the play. The call was upheld, making the score 3-0 for Kansas City. Manager John Gibbons brought newly-acquired Scott Feldman in to pitch in the sixth, where he allowed three consecutive singles. Brett Cecil, not faring any better, allowed a grand slam to Kendrys Morales, making it 7-1 Royals. Final score: 7-1 Royals – W: Ventura – L: Stroman.
The Blue Jays head back to Toronto to play the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night.