Blue Jays hope to turn things around in Kansas City

Mexican right-hander Luis Mendoza tries to keep the red-hot Kansas City Royals rolling on Friday night when they host the Toronto Blue Jays to begin a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals, who were off on Thursday, won their fourth consecutive game on Wednesday when Billy Butler put the hosts up in the first inning with a solo home run and Wade Davis, Bruce Chen and Kelvin Herrera took care of the rest in a 3-0 triumph.

Davis (1-0) struck out six in five innings of work before giving way to Chen, who gave up just two hits in three innings. Herrera struck out the side for his second save of the season.

"I had a little trouble early," Davis said. "I didn't make it too easy on myself, but the goal was to keep it where it was. I had a lead and Bruce did a great job coming up behind me."

Jeff Francoeur also hit a home run for Kansas City, while Salvador Perez went 3-for-4 with a double.

Mendoza, who's 1-2 in five career meetings with the Blue Jays, made his first start of 2013 on April 6 in Philadelphia and got a no-decision in a game the Royals lost, 4-3.

He gave up a run on two hits in six innings while walking three batters and striking out seven.

Mendoza had made 38 big-league appearances and won six times heading into last year, when he won eight times in 30 appearances - 25 starts - while tossing a career-high 166 innings.

In 271 major-league innings, he's allowed an opposition batting average of .291 while striking out 161 and walking 160.

The Blue Jays will start lefty J.A. Happ, who makes his second start for Toronto in 2013 and his eighth since a midseason trade in 2012 brought him over from Houston.

The 30-year-old was 7-9 in 18 outings with the Astros and then 3-2 in six starts - 10 appearances - with his new team.

He opened 2013 with 5 1/3 innings of scoreless one-hit ball against the Boston Red Sox on April 6 in a 5-0 triumph.

Happ won his lone career meeting with the Royals after allowing two runs on four hits in six innings.

The Blue Jays dropped the rubber match of thier three-game set with the Detroit Tigers on Thursday, as Josh Johnson was shelled for six runs on seven hits and two walks in just 1 1/3 innings in an 11-1 shellacking.

Toronto has dropped three of its last four.

Toronto won six of eight games between the teams in 2012. The Royals won four of seven in 2011.