Royals rally to beat Blue Jays 8-6 in 10
TORONTO (AP) — Omar Infante hit a two-run single in the 10th inning and the Kansas City Royals overcame two home runs by Edwin Encarnacion to beat the Blue Jays 8-6 on Thursday night, snapping Toronto’s winning streak at nine games.
Facing Todd Redmond (0-4), Alcides Escobar singled to begin the 10th. Pedro Ciriaco was hit on the front of the helmet while squaring to bunt and Nori Aoki advanced the runners with a sacrifice before Infante lined a single just over the reach of leaping third baseman Brett Lawrie.
Wade Davis (4-1) worked two innings for the win and Greg Holland closed it out for his 15th save in 16 chances.
The Blue Jays were on the verge of victory in the ninth before the Royals tied it with an unearned run off Casey Janssen, who blew a save for the first time in nine chances. After Jose Bautista threw out Butler at first base from right field for the second out, Alex Gordon singled to left and was replaced by pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson, who stole second and scored when Encarnacion couldn’t handle an errant, bouncing throw from shortstop Jose Reyes on Salvador Perez’s grounder.
Reyes batted with a runner on in the 10th but couldn’t atone for his gaffe, striking out looking to end it.
Perez hit a solo homer in the second for the Royals who snapped a four-game skid and avoided matching their longest losing streak of the season.
The Royals had 14 hits on the same day they shook up their staff, making Dale Sveum the hitting coach and Mike Jirschele their third base coach. Pedro Grifol, who took over as hitting coach last season, was reassigned as a catching instructor.
Encarnacion matched a major league record with his fifth multihomer game in a month. Albert Belle did it in September 1995 and Harmon Killebrew in May 1959.
The blasts were Encarnacion’s 15th and 16th in May, breaking Bautista’s team record for homers in a month. Bautista hit 14 in June, 2012.
The major league record for home runs in May is 17, set by Barry Bonds in 2001. Encarnacion has two games remaining this month.
Encarnacion has 18 total homers, second in the majors to Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz, who entered play Thursday with 19.
Both of Encarnacion’s homers, which came in the fourth and sixth innings, were two-run shots into the second deck, and both came off Royals right-hander James Shields.
Bautista added a two-run shot in the first as the Blue Jays boosted their major league-leading total to 79. Toronto has hit at least one home run in 11 of the past 12 games.
Shields came in having won four straight decisions and was 6-1 with a 1.13 ERA in his past eight starts against Toronto, but couldn’t duplicate that success. He allowed six runs and eight hits in seven innings, including a season-worst three homers. Shields walked none and struck out six.
Bautista put the Jays in front with his first-inning homer, but Perez cut the lead in half in the second and the Royals tied it on Gordon’s RBI double in the fourth.
Encarnacion restored Toronto’s lead in the fourth but R.A. Dickey couldn’t make it stand up as Kansas City scored three in the fifth. Ciriaco hit an RBI double and Infante and Butler had RBI singles.
The Royals chased Dickey in the sixth when Lorenzo Cain hit a leadoff double and Escobar followed with a bunt single. Steve Delabar came on and struck out Ciriaco, then appeared to give up a run when Cain scored on a wild pitch, with Aoki claiming he had been hit by the bouncing pitch. After a replay review, Aoki was awarded his base and Cain was sent back to third. Infante followed with a double play liner to shortstop, with Escobar forced out at second.
Buoyed by the reprieve, the Blue Jays reclaimed the lead in the bottom half on Encarnacion’s two-out homer.
Dickey allowed five runs and a season-worst 10 hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out seven.
NOTES: Kansas City has 22 home runs, the fewest in the majors. ... Royals LHP Jason Vargas (4-2) faces Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (4-1) on Friday.