Royals slide hits 9 straight in 9-5 loss to Jays
Published on -4/22/2012, 9:01 AM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- With the Kansas City Royals mired in a nine-game losing streak, they are looking for some positives.
Well, they didn't hit into a triple play Saturday night.
They did lose to the Toronto Blue Jays again, this time 9-5.
On Friday night, the Blue Jays turned three on the Royals. On Saturday night, Kansas City couldn't keep the Jays in the park enough.
"When we fall behind in the count, they get home runs," Everett Teaford said. "When they fall behind in the count, we hit mashed double plays. Look at the end of the game. Gordo (Alex Gordon) hit it just really hard and it turns into a double play. Guess it wasn't a triple play; that's a plus. We want to turn this around so bad and maybe that's part of the problem. We're pushing too hard."
The losing streak is the Royals longest since they dropped 10 in a row April 10-24, 2009. They have lost a club record nine consecutive at home, dating to last season.
"We've got to figure out how to stop the snowball, before it even begins," Teaford said.
Hosmer hit a two-run homer in a four-run fifth as the Royals took a short-lived 5-4 advantage. Colby Rasmus hit a two-run homer in the sixth off Teaford (0-1) to put the Blue Jays up to stay.
"We had opportunities to score, and did score," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "You want your bullpen to hold them and we just couldn't do that."
Hosmer hit a 2-0 changeup from Drew Hutchison (1-0), who picked up a victory in his big league debut.
"Luck's just not going our way right now," Hosmer said. "That's the way baseball is sometimes. Our time is coming. A couple of things go our way and we're right there. That's what it's like as a baseball player. You have to take it day by day.
Not one person here is hanging their head. We're getting a lot of tough breaks, like every team does. Unfortunately a lot of ours are coming early on."
Rasmus hit two home runs, his third career multi-homer game. Edwin Encarnacion also homered and drove in three runs for the Blue Jays.
Hutchison (1-0), who had never pitched above Double-A before Saturday, left after 99 pitches and 5 1-3 innings, allowing five runs and eight hits, including two homers. Hutchison became the eighth youngest starting pitcher in Blue Jays history at 21 years, 243 days.
Rasmus and Encarnacion homered off rookie reliever Kelvin Herrera in the three-run seventh. It was Rasmus' third career multihomer game.
Left-hander Darren Oliver, who at 41 is nearly twice the age of Hutchison, entered in the sixth after Alcides Escobar's single advanced Mike Moustakas to third. Oliver struck out Mitch Maier and retired Yuniesky Betancourt on a fly to preserve the lead. Escobar stroked four hits, matching his career high.Royals starter Luis Mendoza faced 19 batters and 11 reached base -- 10 hits and a walk -- before being pulled with one out in the fourth.
The Blue Jays batted around in a four-run fourth that Adam Lind started with a double.
Five consecutive one-out singles by Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie, Rasmus, J.P. Arencibia and Yunel Escobar knocked Mendoza out of the game, giving the Blue Jays a 4-1 advantage. In three starts, Mendoza has allowed 24 hits, walked nine and struck out four in 13 innings. Teaford, who had not pitched since April 13, replaced Mendoza and walked Kelly Johnson to load the bases before getting Jose Bautista to line out into an inning-ending double play.
Alex Gordon homered in the first for the Royals.
NOTES: Betancourt started a game as the leadoff hitter for the first time in his big league career, spanning 972 games. Yost moved DH Billy Butler from cleanup, where he had batted the first 13 games, to the third slot. Butler, however, grounded into two double plays and struck out. "We tried to make some minor adjustments, shake things up a little bit," Yost said. "It's a different look to see if we can't get some offense going. Every once in a while it's good to make an adjustment especially when you're struggling a little bit offensively." ... Blue Jays LHP Luis Perez has not allowed a run in 10 innings this season and left-handed hitters are 0 for 17 off him. "He has a lot of confidence to bring everything," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He's using his secondary pitches as well as his fastball." ... Willie Aikens, a Royals minor league coach who was the first baseman on their 1980 American League championship club, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Aikens' biography, "Safe At Home," was published this month and details his life of drug abuse. ... The Royals placed RHP Greg Holland on the 15-day disabled list with a left rib stress reaction. They recalled RHP Jeremy Jeffress from Triple-A Omaha.