One of those Days: Blue Jays rock Brooks, Royals 12-2
When a baseball game features opposing pitchers both making their first career start, anything is truly possible. Unfortunately for the Royals, not much could have gone wrong in an ugly 12-2 loss at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon.
Royals starter Aaron Brooks, making just his second big league appearance, was thrown to the wolves in a game that Yordano Ventura was originally slated to start. Allowing the first eight Blue Jays to reach base safely (a Toronto record), Brooks recorded a 1-2-3 double play to log his only outs on the day. After giving up two additional hits, Ned Yost had seen enough, and pulled his starter after just 0.2 inning of work.
Of the first eight runners that reached safely, only three of them had hits. Jose Reyes led off the game with a walk, and Melky Cabrera was hit on the elbow in the next at bat. Jose Bautista followed with an RBI double, and the next five hitters would walk, single, hit by pitch, double, walk. It was then when Anthony Gose, the ninth hitter of the inning, grounded into the double play. Unfortunately, Brooks was unable to get any further, as he allowed the next two hitters to single before Ned Yost made the move.
Brooks was called up from AAA Omaha to make the spot start after it came out that Ventura would miss one start due to an elbow injury suffered last Monday. In his only big-league appearance prior to Saturday, he gave up six runs on seven hits in just two innings in a loss to the Detroit Tigers back on May 2. During his major league debut, Brooks worked a scoreless eighth inning but was rocked in the ninth, giving up a half-dozen runs. The Royals would lose that game 9-2.
As for the offense, the Royals weren’t able to do nearly as much off the Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman, who was also making his first MLB start. Stroman recorded a quality start by going six innings and giving up just one run, scattering five hits and striking out six. The Royals’ two runs were driven in on a second-inning Brett Hayes RBI single and when Nori Aoki was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the seventh inning.
Billy Butler continued to heat up by going 2-4, his third consecutive multi-hit game. Butler improved his average to a cool .500 this series (7-14 with three runs scored and one RBI). Alex Gordon continues to be the Royals’ most consistent hitter; his second-inning double was the only extra base hit Kansas City would have all afternoon. Jarrod Dyson and Pedro Ciriaco, both making rare starts, also logged two hits.
The Royals are in a stretch of games where they won’t get an off-day (barring a rain delay) until June 12. Ned Yost rested Salvador Perez, Lorenzo Cain and Omar Infante on Saturday afternoon, but all three figure to be back in the lineup for Sunday’s finale. Jeremy Guthrie (2-4, 4.14 ERA) takes on Blue Jays’ ace Mark Buehrle (9-1, 2.33) tomorrow afternoon. The Royals have already clinched the season series; they lead 4-2 with one game remaining.