The Royals were up 2-0 and then tied 2-2 in the first half of the game. But then things fell apart in the 6th and the team dropped back to .500.
Early on, it looked like Jorge Bonifacio Day. He hit his 11th homer of the season (really? he’s already at 11??) in the first. He made a nice catch on a Kendrys Morales fly ball in the second. And he doubled and scored on an Eric Hosmer RBI single in the 4th.
Jason Hammel flirted with danger all day. The Blue Jays stranded runners in scoring position in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. In the 5th, he gave up a leadoff single to Ryan Goins. Then he went 3-0 on Jose Bautista before throwing a 92 mph (I believe I have this technical term correct) “meatball” into what Toronto’s radio broadcasters called Bautista’s “happy zone”. Tie ballgame. Hammel was done after 5 with a whopping 105 pitches.
Unfortunately, In the 6th, the Royals imploded. Coming into the 6th, the Blue Jays were 2 for 22 in the series with RISP. First, the bullpen lost the strike zone. After pinch hitter Darwin Barney singled, Scott Alexander walked the number 8 and 9 hitters, Kevin Pillar and pinch hitter Steve Pearce. His season ERA would jump more than a run today from 1.38 to 2.42.
Peter Moylan came in to try and salvage the inning. On a really bad ball 3 call, he almost got thrown out of the game arguing, saved only by Drew Butera's intervention. Then he threw ball four and walked in the go ahead run. Russell Martin followed with a routine grounder to Cheslor Cuthbert. But the third baseman bobbled it and drew Eric Hosmer off the bag so no outs were recorded and another run scored. Josh Donaldson broke the game open when he looped one down the right field line that just fell fair and suddenly it was 6-2 Jays.
Mike Minor came in and he finished off the inning. But not before another run scored on a Kendrys Morales grounder. The ball went to a drawn in Alcides Escobar who threw home. But the throw was a little off and Martin somehow scooted around the tag. All told, the only hits the Blue Jays got that inning were a single and a double. But they also drew 3 walks, reached on an error, and reached on a fielder's choice all to the tune of 5 runs.
And that was all she wrote. Of note for the rest of the game, new Royal Neftali Feliz gave up another run in the 7th, Kevin McCarthy continues to pitch in the lowest leverage situations possible, and there was some rain. In the 8th, the Royals played stupid ball. With 2 outs, Eric Hosmer singled to shallow center and Lorenzo Cain lazily came around 3rd to home. But Hosmer tried to stretch it into a double and was tagged out before the run scored. Demerits to both. After publicly disclosing his anxiety issues yesterday, Roberto Osuna finished off the Royals in the 9th.
The Royals are now 2.5 back of the recently reinstated first place Twins after Minnesota swept Cleveland over the weekend. The Royals also missed out on an opportunity to be only 1 GB in the race for the 2nd Wild Card. They head to Detroit and start a three game series with the Tigers, who have lost 8 in a row and are currently losing to the Padres.