The Kansas City Royals appeared to have everything under control in this game, and then Ambiorix Burgos took to the mound in a woeful eighth inning, that saw their 9-7 lead evaporate as the Jays scored five times, putting an end to long afternoon in Toronto.
Things started out well for the Royals as they knocked around David Bush early on, scoring twice in the first inning when David DeJesus doubled home Angel Berroa who was hit by a pitch leading off the game. Canadian Matt Stairs would then singled home DeJesus for an early 2-0 lead.
The Blue Jays would fire back in their half of the first, when Orlando Hudson registered his first of four walks on the day (tying a team record), followed by Frank Catalanotto’s single to center, allowing Shea Hillenbrand to drive a Denny Bautista offering to deep left and out, giving the Jays a 3-2 lead.
If the first inning was any sign of what was to come, this game was far from over. Kansas City would get two more off of Bush in the second, when Berroa and DeJesus would both drive in a run each, taking the lead right back at 4-3.
If you blinked, you might have missed it, as yet again, the lead changed hands when Toronto would scored twice in both the third and fourth innings. They would hold that lead but Kansas City began chipping away as they scored two in the fifth when Mark Teahen hit a two-run single to center, making it 7-6 Jays.
The Royals would complete the comeback and take their third lead of the game, silencing the young crowd in the seventh when DeJesus doubled off Vinnie Chulk, who was then replaced by lefty Scott Schoeneweis to face Stairs. Stairs, a .300 hitter at Rogers Centre in his career, smoked an inside pitch over the wall in right, scoring two. The next batter, Emil Brown, launched a curveball from Schoeneweis into the second deck in left giving the Royals a 9-7 lead.
Toronto would load the bases up in the seventh against 6 foot 10 lefty Andy Sisco, but stranded them all when Reed Johnson struck out, ending the threat.
The Jays would have one charge left in them though. Corey Koskie greeted Burgos with an opposite field solo shot to left leading off the inning, which would be the first of five hits, culminating with Rios’ double, scoring Hillenbrand and Hinske to take the lead 10-9. Toronto would add two more when Vernon Wells scored on a suicide squeeze by Ken Huckaby, followed by an Orlando Hudson ground-rule double cashing in Rios, making it 12-9.
Miguel Batista would retire the final four outs of the game, recording the win, improving to 2-0, while Burgos takes the loss, falling to 1-2.
In the old adage ‘A good team will find ways to win’, the Royals are the polar opposite as they seem to keep finding ways to lose ballgames. The Royals have now lost their third straight, a series sweep at the hands of the blue birds, dropping their record to a MLB worst 8-26.
Toronto, who has an off-day Thursday, will travel to Cleveland to face the tribe in a three-game set. Ted Lilly (1-3) hopes to turn his fortunes around as he gets the ball for the Jays, going up against Jake Westbrook (1-6) for the Indians.
The game on Friday can be seen on TSN starting at 7pm EST as well as on The FAN 590AM.
InsideTheDome’s Game Notes: Corey Koskie, who was at DH for the second straight game, went 2-for-5 with 2 RBI’s; he suffered a pulled ribcage muscle while weight-lifting earlier in the week…Orlando Hudson who walked four times today, was the 8th Blue Jays to accomplish the feat…Mike Sweeney extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the eighth inning…Royals starter Denny Bautista left the game in the third inning due to shoulder tightness…The Blue Jays sent Matt Whiteside to AAA Syracuse, calling up lefty Scott Downs.
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