Published April 23, 2012
| Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer, Kelly Johnson also went deep and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the bumbling Kansas City Royals 4-1 on Monday night to complete a four-game sweep.
The Blue Jays improved to 6-1 on the road this season, while Kansas City lost its 11th straight to finish up a winless 10-game homestand. The Royals became the first team to lose its first 10 at home since the Chicago Cubs dropped 12 in a row at Wrigley Field in 1994.
Eric Hosmer scored the Royals' only run with a homer leading off the second inning.
Otherwise, Brandon Morrow (1-1) took care of the struggling Kansas City lineup. The right-hander allowed seven hits and one walk in 6 2-3 innings, and Luis Perez and Francisco Cordero did the rest. Cordero got some help from a double-play groundout in the ninth for his second save.
The four-game sweep was the Blue Jays' first since May 2009, and their first ever at Kansas City. The last time they swept four on the road was 2003 against the New York Yankees.
Bruce Chen (0-2) used his veteran guile to keep the Blue Jays on the ropes most of the game. His only major mistakes came against Bautista and Johnson, and they cost him the game.
Kansas City (3-13) matched the 2006 team for the second-worst start in franchise history, and heads out on a nine-game trip having lost 11 straight for the first time since May 2008.
The last team to lose 10 straight at home was Arizona in 2004.
The Royals didn't help their cause with some ghastly situational hitting.
The game was tied 1-all in the third inning when Alcides Escobar led off with a double. Chris Getz sacrificed him to third base, but Alex Gordon struck out — he's hitting .177 on the season — and Billy Butler grounded out to third base to end the inning.
Royals manager Ned Yost made the same call for a sacrifice bunt following a leadoff double by portly catcher Brayan Pena in the fifth. This time, the bunt by Mitch Maier was fielded by Morrow, who had plenty of time to throw out the lumbering Pena at third base.
The poorly executed bunt cost the Royals a run when Escobar singled moments later. Getz then popped out to the catcher and Gordon flied out to center to end the inning without a run.
The Blue Jays took advantage the next half-inning.
Johnson drew his second straight walk and Bautista connected on the first pitch of the at-bat from Chen, sending a go-ahead shot over the fence in left and into the Royals bullpen. Bautista's third homer of the season snapped a 2-for-12 stretch in the series.
The Royals put runners on second and third with two outs in the seventh, but Perez got Gordon to ground out harmlessly to shortstop. Kansas City was 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position, and finished the four-game set 5 for 40 in such situations.
Notes: Getz was the Royals' fourth leadoff hitter of the series. ... Perez had not allowed a hit to a left-handed batter until Getz doubled in the seventh. ... Gordon went 0 for 4. ... The Blue Jays head to Baltimore for three games starting Tuesday. RHP Henderson Alvarez will pitch the opener. ... Royals LHP Luke Hochevar goes Tuesday night in their series opener at Cleveland.