Lawrie, Blue Jays hand Royals 10th straight loss
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Brett Lawrie knocked in two runs during a four-run fifth inning and later stole home, as the Toronto Blue Jays held off the Kansas City Royals, 5-3.
Jose Bautista and Yunel Escobar each added an RBI for the Blue Jays, who have won the first three games of this four-game set.
Ricky Romero (3-0) gave up two runs on five hits over eight innings. He struck out five and walked two.
"The defense has been tremendous for me all year and, in general, for the whole team," Romero said. "I'm a guy that the hitters are going to hit ground balls with. I rely on my defense a lot."
Alcides Escobar and Mike Moustakas each had an RBI for the Royals, who have lost nine straight at home - longest in franchise history - and 10 in a row overall.
Danny Duffy (1-2) allowed four runs on five hits over 4 2/3 innings to take the loss. He fanned five and walked five.
Toronto wasted multiple scoring chances early on. With men on second and third and two outs in the first inning, Colby Rasmus struck out swinging.
The Blue Jays had a runner on third with two outs in the second, when J.P. Arencibia flied out.
Duffy gave up just one hit through the first four innings, but struggled in the fifth. Rajai Davis doubled and Arencibia walked to begin the frame. Davis stole third and scored on Yunel Escobar's single to right. Two batters later, Bautista hit an RBI single up the middle. Edwin Encarnacion was intentionally walked to load the bases. After Rasmus struck out swinging for the second out, Lawrie hit a two-run single to right for a 4-0 margin.
"He (Duffy) couldn't get through the fifth inning because his pitch count was so high," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Baserunning gaffes. We ran the gamut today in just about everything."
The Royals did manage to get two runs back in the home half of the inning. Jeff Francoeur and Moustakas singled before Humberto Quintero walked to load the bases. Alcides Escobar then grounded into a fielder's choice to plate a run. Escobar's throwing error on the play allowed another run to score. Jason Bourgeois and Alex Gordon grounded out to keep it 4-2.
The Blue Jays added an insurance run in the eighth. With runners on the corners and two outs, Yunel Escobar stepped to the plate. Arencibia stole second and the throw to second allowed Lawrie to steal home.
Francisco Cordero picked up his first save of the season, despite giving up a run in the ninth. With one out, Yuniesky Betancourt walked and Jeff Francoeur doubled. Betancourt scored when Moustakas' infield single deflected off Cordero. Pinch-hitter Brayan Pena grounded into a double play to end the game.
Following Saturday night's game, the Blue Jays placed closer Sergio Santos on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation and recalled pitcher Evan Crawford from Double-A New Hampshire...The Royals went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded five.