Ex-Duke star Marcus Stroman wins first big league start
Toronto’s booming offense made life easy for ex-Duke star Marcus Stroman in his first major league start.
Juan Francisco had three hits and four RBIs, Adam Lind went 3 for 5 with three RBIs and the Blue Jays used a seven-run first inning to rout the Kansas City Royals 12-2 on Saturday.
Stroman said having Toronto’s potent lineup behind him was “like playing a video game with a cheat team.”
“Everyone is like a 100 level,” he said.
The AL East-leading Blue Jays snapped a two-game losing streak and finished May with a 21-9 record. Toronto has won 15 of its past 19.
Stroman (2-0) allowed one run and five hits in six innings. The right-hander walked none and struck out six.
“I thought he was terrific,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “He showed us something.”
Kansas City’s batters were impressed with Stroman, too.
“Power fastball, good slider,” Royals catcher Brett Hayes said. “He got ahead. He’s got good stuff, let’s be honest. That slider is pretty filthy.”
Gibbons said Stroman is certain to get another turn in Toronto’s rotation
“We’d be crazy not to,” he said.
Todd Redmond worked the final three innings for his first save.
The Blue Jays gave Stroman all the support he would need with a 12-batter first inning against Royals right-hander Aaron Brooks, who was also making his first career start. Toronto set a team record when the first eight batters reached safely against Brooks. The Blue Jays had seven straight reach safely to begin a win over Baltimore on Sept. 15, 2007.
Jose Reyes led off with a walk, Melky Cabrera was hit by a pitch, Jose Bautista hit an RBI double, Edwin Encarnacion walked to load the bases and Adam Lind hit an RBI single before Brett Lawrie brought home another run when he was hit by a pitch. Juan Francisco hit a two-run double and Dioner Navarro walked before Brooks finally retired a batter, getting Anthony Gose to ground into a 1-2-3 double play.
Reyes and Cabrera added RBI singles before Michael Mariot came out of the bullpen, getting Bautista to foul out to the catcher on the first pitch to finally end the inning.
“It’s tough, you know, coming up and facing a club like this,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “You’re really kind of hoping for a Cinderalla story, he comes up and give you five good innings. There was just nothing we could do. We knew that we had to try to get as far as we could with him but it just got tough.”
Brooks (0-1) allowed seven runs and five hits in 2-3 of an inning, raising his ERA to 43.88. He walked three and struck out none.
“I just couldn’t control the zone,” Brooks said. “I wasn’t getting ahead of batters. I was trying to do a little too much, I guess.”
Hayes hit an RBI single in the second, but the Blue Jays answered in the bottom half when Lawrie singled home Lind’s one-out double.
Toronto tacked on three more against Mariot in the fourth. Lind hit an RBI double, Lawrie followed with a sacrifice fly and Francisco added an RBI single.
Nori Aoki drove in Kansas City’s second run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the seventh.
Francisco capped the scoring with an RBI double off Louis Coleman in the eighth.
NOTES: Gose was the only Toronto starter to go hitless. ... Brooks started in place of RH Yordano Ventura, who left his last outing with a sore elbow. Ventura is expected to make his next start. ... Brooks allowed six runs over two innings in a relief appearance against Detroit on May 3. ... The Royals optioned utilityman Jimmy Paredes to Triple-A Omaha to make room for Brooks. ... Royals C Saldavor Perez, OF Lorenzo Cain and 2B Omar Infante got the day off. ... Kansas City RH Jeremy Guthrie (2-3) will face Toronto LH Mark Buehrle (9-1) in Sunday’s series finale.
|Aoki rf||4||0||0||1||Reyes ss||4||1||1||1|
|AEscor ss||5||0||0||0||StTllsn ss||0||0||0||0|
|Hosmer 1b||4||0||1||0||MeCarr lf||4||1||1||1|
|BButler dh||4||0||2||0||Bautist rf||3||2||2||1|
|AGordn lf||3||1||1||0||Pillar ph-rf||2||0||0||0|
|Valenci 3b||4||1||0||0||Encrnc dh||3||2||1||0|
|Hayes c||4||0||1||1||Lind 1b||5||4||3||2|
|Dyson cf||4||0||2||0||Lawrie 2b||3||0||2||3|
|Ciriaco 2b||4||0||2||0||JFrncs 3b||4||1||3||4|
E_Lind (2), J.Francisco (5). DP_Kansas City 1, Toronto 2. LOB_Kansas City 9, Toronto 8. 2B_A.Gordon (15), Bautista (9), Lind 2 (10), J.Francisco 2 (6). SF_Lawrie.
HBP_by Ti.Collins (J.Francisco), by Brooks (Me.Cabrera, Lawrie), by Redmond (Aoki).
Umpires_Home, Gabe Morales; First, Larry Vanover; Second, Angel Hernandez; Third, Adrian Johnson.
T_2:53. A_31,652 (49,282).