Ricky Romero feels like he's stuck in quicksand, and sinking fast.
Mike Moustakas hit his first career grand slam, Everett Teaford pitched seven innings for his first win of the season and the Kansas City Royals roughed up Romero, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 11-3 on Monday night.
Jose Bautista hit his major league leading 27th home run and Colby Rasmus clubbed a solo shot off the facing of the fifth deck but it wasn't enough for the Blue Jays, who lost for the fifth time in seven games.
Romero (8-3) lost at home for the first time in almost a year, giving up eight runs and a season-high 11 hits in six-plus innings. The left-hander, who suffered consecutive losses for the first time this season, also allowed eight runs in last Wednesday's loss at Boston.
A downcast Romero said he's working hard between starts, but can't seem to snap out of his slump.
"You feel like you're in the quicksand," he said. "Every time you just keep getting deeper and deeper and you don't know how to get out of it."
Romero has allowed four runs or more in seven of his past 11 outings.
Manager John Farrell conceded that Romero's confidence is wavering, but said he also saw some encouraging signs.
"He attacked the zone much more aggressively tonight, pitched ahead in the count, a greater number of first-pitch strikes," Farrell said. "But still, when he got ahead in the count, the ability to put the hitter away was a little bit elusive. A step in the right direction but still far from what we've been accustomed to seeing from Ricky."
Royals manager Ned Yost said his team was fortunate to beat up Toronto's ace.
"The last two years, it seems like every time we face (Toronto) we see Ricky Romero and he's always extremely tough on us. We knew we had our hands full today."
Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer as the Royals snapped a three-game losing streak, matched their season high with 14 hits and beat Toronto for the first time in five meetings this season.
Teaford (1-0) allowed three runs and five hits to win for the first time since last September. He walked two and struck out two.
"For the most part I thought he pitched very, very well," Yost said. "I'm very pleased with him."
Kelvin Herrera worked the eighth and Tim Collins finished in the ninth as the Royals won for the fifth time in eight games.
Romero came in unbeaten in 14 starts at Rogers Centre since losing a 4-1 decision to the Yankees on July 16, 2011, and was handed an early lead when Brett Lawrie scored on Yunel Escobar's bases loaded groundout in the first.
Romero couldn't hold the lead, however, and Perez quickly put the Royals in front with his third homer, a two-out line drive that barely cleared the left field fence.
"He hit it so hard it didn't think it had enough height to get out but it got out and that was huge," Yost said. "It did turn the momentum around."
Kansas City added two more in the third on back-to-back RBI doubles by Yuniesky Betancourt and Moustakas, who snapped an 0 for 15 skid.
Bautista made it 4-2 with a solo drive to center in the bottom half, but the Royals piled on with two more in the fourth. Alex Gordon's RBI single drove in Perez and Jason Bourgeois scored on a wild pitch.
Rasmus cut it to 6-3 with a booming homer off Teaford in the fifth, a two-out drive that hit off the facing of the fifth deck in right field, his 16th of the season and second in two days.
Asked whether Rasmus' drive was the longest home run he's ever allowed, Teaford joked that he would "have to check air traffic control."
Kansas City chased Romero and put the game out of reach with a five-run seventh. Alcides Escobar led off with a walk, Eric Hosmer doubled and David Pauley came on to replace Romero. Pauley hit Billy Butler to load the bases, gave up an RBI single to Betancourt, then surrendered a first-pitch homer to Moustakas, his 14th.
"It was really cool," Moustakas said of the milestone home run. "I got a good pitch to hit, got a fastball over the middle of the plate and just tried not to do too much with it."
NOTES: Bautista was named AL Player of the Month for June after hitting 14 home runs, and was also named as a participant in the Home Run Derby. ... Lawrie struck out swinging in the fifth, ending a streak of 34 at bats without a strikeout. Lawrie, whose last strikeout was June 24 at Miami, struck out again in to end the seventh. ... Toronto designated Pauley for assignment following the game and purchased the contract of Triple-A RHP Drew Carpenter. ... The Royals have won four of their past five games in Toronto.