Cabrera, Francis lead Royals past Blue Jays, 9-6
Thursday, August 25, 2011
TORONTO (AP) — Jeff Francis pitched six-plus innings to win for the first time since July 29, Melky Cabrera homered and the Kansas City Royals beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-6 on Thursday night.
Billy Butler went 4 for 5 with two RBIs and scored twice as the Royals won their first series since taking two of three against Baltimore from Aug. 2-4. It was Kansas City’s first series victory in Toronto since August 2002.
Butler doubled and scored in the fourth, singled in both the sixth and seventh and doubled home a pair of runs off reliever Shawn Camp in the eighth. He went 8 for 15 with five extra-base hits to help the Royals win twice in the three-game series.
J.P. Arencibia and Edwin Encarnacion homered for the Blue Jays, but Toronto lost for the fourth time in six games.
Francis (5-14) came in 0-3 with an 8.27 ERA in his past four outings but was solid in his first career start in Canada. The left-hander, born in Vancouver, British Columbia, improved to 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA in three career starts against Toronto.
The Blue Jays managed just three hits against Francis over the first six innings before chasing him in the seventh. Kelly Johnson led off with a single and Arencibia followed with a two-run drive to left, his 20th. Francis left after Mike McCoy followed with a single.
Greg Holland came on and got Yunel Escobar to ground into a force before fanning Eric Thames and Jose Bautista.
Holland pitched two innings and Joakim Soria gave up Encarnacion’s 13th homer, a two-run shot in the ninth.
Francis, who won just one of his previous nine decisions, gave up two runs and six hits. He walked three, one intentional, and struck out five.
Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez led off the third with a double and scored on a two-out base hit by Johnny Giavotella. Butler doubled to begin the fourth and scored on a two-out single from Mike Moustakas.
The Royals got two more in the sixth. Cabrera doubled, moved to third on Butler’s single and scored on a base hit by Jeff Francoeur. After Moustakas grounded into a fielder’s choice, Perez drove in Butler with a base hit to center.
Cabrera chased Blue Jays left-hander Brett Cecil with a one-out homer to left in the seventh, his 17th.
Cecil (4-7) lost his third straight decision, allowing five runs and nine in 6 1-3 innings. He walked one and struck out three.
Arencibia’s homer in the seventh cut it to 5-2 but Butler’s two-run double in the eighth restored Kansas City’s five-run lead.
Brett Lawrie hit an RBI triple off Holland in the bottom half and Arencibia added a sacrifice fly, but the Royals answered in the ninth when Moustakas hit an RBI double off Rommie Lewis and Mitch Maier added a sacrifice fly off Jesse Litsch.
Johnson, acquired Tuesday from Arizona, made his Toronto debut. Batting in the seventh spot, he went 1 for 2 with two walks. He also threw out Maier trying to score from third on a grounder in the eighth.
NOTES: Toronto optioned OF Darin Mastroianni to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Johnson. ... Blue Jays OF Colby Rasmus (right wrist) missed his second straight game. ... Royals OF Alex Gordon did not start because of a bruised right elbow sustained when he was hit by a pitch Wednesday. He came on as a defensive replacement in the ninth. ... Arencibia’s 20 homers match John Buck (2010) for the most in a season by a Blue Jays catcher. ... Kansas City had 16 hits for the second time in the series. ... A moment of silence was held before the game to honor Mike Flanagan, who pitched for the Blue Jays from 1987-90.