May 24, 2024

Turner hits 2 home runs, Jansen also connects as Blue Jays beat Royals 6-5

Kansas City Royals' Bobby Witt Jr. runs after hitting a double against the New York Mets during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 14, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

By IAN HARRISON Associated Press
TORONTO (AP) — Justin Turner hit two home runs, Danny Jansen added a solo homer and the Toronto Blue Jays held on to beat the Kansas City Royals 6-5 on Monday night.
Turner hit a two-run home run in the first inning and had a leadoff homer in the third. The homers were his third and fourth. It was the 16th multihomer game of his career.
Jansen also connected in the third, his second.
The Blue Jays scored more than five runs for the first time in 21 games, ending a streak that dated back to a 9-8 loss at Yankee Stadium on April 6.
“The best sign was the quality of contact and the amount of balls we kept off the ground,” Turner said. “We’ve been hitting a lot of hard balls but beating them into the ground and not getting any results. I think tonight was probably our best game of the year of having quality contact. That was good to see.”
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had two hits and drove in a run as Toronto won back-to-back games after losing the previous five.
The Blue Jays won for the first time in 12 games this season when their opponent scores at least five runs.
Royals catcher Salvador Perez was scratched from the starting lineup because of a tight back but delivered a pinch-hit single with two out in the ninth. Dairon Blanco ran for Perez, who hit for DH Nelson Velázquez
“His back tightened up a little bit earlier in the day, but he worked on it throughout the game and he said he was 100% there at the end,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said of Perez.
Toronto’s Nate Pearson struck out Kansas City’s Michael Massey to end it, stranding the tying run at third base.
The save was Pearson’s first of the season. He finished for Toronto on a night that regular closer Jordan Romano and fellow right-hander Yimi Garcia were both unavailable.
“They have power arms throughout,” Quatraro said of Toronto’s deep bullpen. “I mean, Pearson is not a bad option throwing 100 miles per hour coming in in the ninth inning.”
Kyle Isbel homered and drove in two runs but the Royals lost their third straight. Freddy Fermin also homered for Kansas City, his first.
Recalled from Triple-A Omaha to make his second career start, Royals right-hander Jonathan Bowlan (0-1) allowed four runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings, including three home runs.
“The mistakes got hit at the end of the day,” Bowlan said. “I wasn’t pounding the zone how I would have liked and when you fall behind, stuff like this happens.”
Blue Jays right-hander Yariel Rodríguez allowed three runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings but left with the bases loaded. Génesis Cabrera came on and retired Vinnie Pasquantino to escape the jam.
Cabrera (1-0) got four outs for the victory.
Isbel’s homer, his third, came off right-hander Trevor Richards in the sixth.
Fermin made it 6-5 with a leadoff homer off righty Erik Swanson in the eighth.
Blue Jays rookie Addison Barger got his first major league hit, a leadoff single in the sixth.
“It looked like a giant weight lifted off his shoulders,” Turner said. “He’s been taking great at-bats. He’s been hitting balls hard all over the place and hadn’t been rewarded yet.”
ROSTER MOVES
Kansas City optioned RHP Will Klein to Triple-A to make room for Bowlan.
UP NEXT
RHP José Berríos (4-1, 1.23 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Blue Jays on Tuesday night against Kansas City LHP Cole Ragans (1-2, 3.90).