Royals turn to Chen in hopes of snapping skid vs. Blue Jays
(Sports Network) - Panama-born southpaw Bruce Chen gets a crack at ending a 10-game losing streak tonight when the freefalling Kansas City Royals host the Toronto Blue Jays to end a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals started the season with three wins in five games, but haven't won since. They've also dropped their initial nine games of the season at home, establishing a franchise record.
The skid reached double digits on Sunday, when Brett Lawrie knocked in two runs during a four-run fifth inning and later stole home as the Blue Jays held off the Royals, 5-3.
Jose Bautista and Yunel Escobar each added an RBI for Toronto, which won the first three games of the 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.
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.
Chen, a veteran of 320 big-league appearances and 172 starts, has won 12 games in each of the last two seasons to bring his career total to 60.
He's failed to add to the number thus far in 2012, however, while pitching 18 innings and allowing five runs against Los Angeles, Oakland and Detroit.
He got no-decisions against the Angels and Athletics and dropped a 3-1 verdict to the Tigers.
Kansas City has been outscored, 13-5, in his starts.
He's opposed by Toronto's Brandon Morrow, who's also seeking his initial win of the season in his fourth start.
The 27-year-old pitched seven innings in consecutive no-decisions against Baltimore and Cleveland on April 7 and 13, then lasted six innings in a 12-2 loss to Tampa Bay on April 18, when he was touched for eight hits and six runs and saw his earned run average rise from 2.57 to 4.50.
Morrow is 2-4 with a 5.33 ERA in nine career meetings with Kansas City.
Kansas City was 4-3 versus the Jays a year ago.