November 30, 2022

Royals’ bats awaken in 8-4 win over Blue Jays to avoid sweep

Kansas City Royals' Emmanuel Rivera, right, is caught stealing second base by Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman, left, during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — MJ Melendez and Emmanuel Rivera drove in two runs apiece, leading Brady Singer and the Kansas City Royals over the Toronto Blue Jays 8-4 on Wednesday to end a three-game losing streak.

Singer allowed home runs to Raimel Tapia and Zack Collins but only allowed one other run in five innings. He improved to 3-1 in his five starts while the rest of the Kansas City rotation is 3-25 in 50 combined starts.

The Royals pounced on erratic Blue Jays starter Yusei Kikuchi, who retired only two batters while walking four and serving up two hits that ultimately cost him three first-inning runs. That was two more than Kansas City had scored in its last four games against the Blue Jays, including a pair of shutouts to start the series.

Toronto briefly tied the game 3-all before Trevor Richards (2-1) allowed three more runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

Given how much trouble the Royals have had scoring runs lately — they’d gone 18 straight innings without getting anyone across home plate — they no doubt welcomed the Kikuchi’s wayward ways on Wednesday.

He started by walking Andrew Benintendi and Bobby Witt Jr. to set up Melendez’s two-run bloop double. Then, the left-hander walked Carlos Santana before Rivera’s run-scoring base hit. And to finish things off, Kikuchi walked Michael Taylor before Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo brought in Trent Thornton to deal with a bases-loaded mess.

Thornton got a dazzling snare from shortstop Bo Bichette to prevent more runs from scoring.

It didn’t take Singer long to cough up the Royals’ lead: He served up homers to Tapia in the first and Collins in the third, both on 3-2 counts, along with Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s RBI grouder that knotted the game 3-all.

Salvador Perez’s single and Melendez’s grounder gave the Royals the lead back in the fourth, and they extended it on Taylor’s double in the fifth, Santana’s single in the sixth and Whit Merrifield’s double in the seventh.

Santana also doubled in the eighth to finish 4 for 4 for his eighth career four-hit game. Perez added his first triple since 2017.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: LHP Tim Mayza (forearm inflammation) had a rehab outing for Triple-A Buffalo on Wednesday and could rejoin the club in Detroit. RHP Nate Pearson (mononucleosis) also planned to pitch for the Bison in their doubleheader.

Royals: OF Hunter Dozier is dealing with “something in his side” that flared up in an at-bat Monday, manager Mike Matheny said. It kept Dozier out of the lineup for the second straight day. “They’re still checking it out,” Matheny said.

UP NEXT

The Blue Jays are off Thursday before sending RHP Jose Berrios (4-2, 5.24) to the mound to open a three-game set against the Tigers on Friday night. The Royals continue their season-high 10-game homestand Thursday night with LHP Kris Bubic (0-3, 9.33) getting the start against the Orioles in the opener of a four-game series.