The Blue Jays wrapped up their series vs the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon, looking for a split of the four game series.
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Toronto’s record to start the game was 7-8, Kansas City’s record was 8-5.
Robbie Ray had a strong spring training. Of note was his ability to limit base on balls. The hope was that this would carry over to the regular season. Unfortunately he dealt with a bout of wildness on Sunday.
Following a strikeout of Salvador Perez, Ray walked Jorge Soler to load the bases. Ray managed to escape the inning unscathed thanks to a fly ball out by Hanser Alberto that was too shallow for Merrifield to score on and an inning ending ground out by Hunter Dozier.
Ray once again loaded the bases in the bottom of the 2nd thanks to a single and two walks but again escaped without allowing a Royals run.
The Blue Jays once again had runners on in the top of the 3rd thanks to a two out single by Bo Bichette followed by a walk to red hot Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The runners were stranded when Randal Grichuk struck out to end the inning.
Ray once again got in and out of trouble in the bottom of the third, issuing back to back two out walks, but stranding the runners with an inning ending ground out.
The Jays got the first two runners on in the top of the 4th when Rowdy Tellez reached on an error and Alejandro Kirk walked, but the Jays once again failed to score.
Ray gave up a hustle double to Nicky Lopez to open the bottom of the 4th but stranded him thanks to three straight fly ball outs.
Final line for Ray on the day – 5 innings, 0 runs on 4 hits, 6 walks and 3 strikeouts. Ray threw 92 pitches and only 52 strikes.
Brady Singer went 6 scoreless innings for Kansas City, allowing 2 hits and 3 walks with 6 strikeouts.
Tim Mayza pitched the 6th inning and allowed a hit but nothing more.
Final score: Royals 2, Blue Jays 0
Game notes – Royals runners ran wild against Kirk and the Blue Jays all day, totalling 5 stolen bases in all. Kirk finally threw out his first runner of the season in the 6th. Randal Grichuk has cooled off considerably since his hot start, striking out four times in the game. Tanner Roark pitched the final 1.1 innings for the Jays giving up only a walk but no runs or hits.
The Blue Jays pitching worked in and out of trouble for much of the game but the bottom line is you aren’t going to win many games when you can only manage two hits. The good news is that help should be on the way. Jays GM Ross Atkins said on MLB network radio that the team is “very close to adding Teoscar Hernandez and George Springer” to the lineup. Hopefully they can help the team score runs and improve on their current 7-9 record.
Toronto has an off day Monday before a short, two game series at Fenway Park against the first place Boston Red Sox, April 20 and 21.
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