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Triple play, Bautista carry Blue Jays past Royals

Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista, right, beats the tag by Kansas City Royals' Alcides Escobar to steal second during the first inning of a baseball game on Friday, April 20, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo.

Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista, right, beats the tag by Kansas City Royals' Alcides Escobar to steal second during the first inning of a baseball game on Friday, April 20, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo. Photo by The Associated Press.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jose Bautista singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays turned their first triple play in 33 years Friday night, beating Kansas City 4-3 to hand the slumping Royals their eighth straight defeat.

Kansas City had runners on first and second in the third inning when Eric Hosmer lined out to first baseman Adam Lind, who stepped on the bag to double off Yuniesky Betancourt. Lind then fired to shortstop Yunel Escobar to retire Alex Gordon, who had strayed off second.

It was Toronto’s first triple play since Sept. 21, 1979, against the New York Yankees.

Al Cowens was the previous Royals batter to hit into a triple play on June 19, 1979, against Oakland.

The Royals took a 2-1 lead into the eighth when Greg Holland, the fourth Kansas City pitcher, threw only seven strikes in 22 pitches. He gave up three runs on three hits, two walks and a balk without retiring a batter.

Colby Rasmus led off the inning with a double. J.P. Arencibia, who was hitting .132, delivered an RBI single.

Holland (0-2) walked Escobar and Kelly Johnson on eight pitches to load the bases, and Bautista’s sharp single to right scored pinch-runner Rajai Davis. Edwin Encarnacion’s sacrifice fly scored Johnson to make it 4-2.

The Royals’ losing streak is their longest since dropping 10 straight from July 10-24, 2010.

Toronto starter Kyle Drabek left after walking six in 5 1-3 innings and throwing only 49 strikes in 100 pitches. He allowed two runs, one on a wild pitch, and gave up four hits.

Drabek’s wild pitch with two outs in the fourth allowed Jeff Francoeur to score, putting Kansas City up 2-0. Mike Moustakas homered in the second for the first Kansas City run.

Luis Perez (2-0) replaced Drabek and worked 1 2-3 scoreless innings to pick up the victory. Sergio Santos got three outs for his second save in four tries.

Santos gave up an RBI single to Betancourt with two outs but retired Hosmer on a grounder with a runner on second to end it.

Royals starter Luke Hochevar, working on six days’ rest, allowed one run and two hits in five innings before being pulled after 84 pitches. Eric Thames scored in the fifth on Arencibia’s single for the only run off Hochevar.

NOTES: Royals CF Lorenzo Cain, on the disabled list with a strained left groin, could report Saturday to Double-A Northwest Arkansas to start a minor league rehab assignment. ... Kansas City RHP Felipe Paulino threw three innings at extended spring training in Surprise, Ariz. Royals manager Ned Yost said Paulino would probably make a rehab start next week for Northwest Arkansas. “We’re close on both guys,” Yost said. ... Blue Jays RHP Drew Hutchinson, who has never pitched above Double-A and went 14-5 with a 2.53 ERA in three minor league stops, will make his major league debut Saturday against the Royals. “We’ve got a ton of scouting reports on the guy,” Yost said. “We’ve got reports from the minute he signed, every year. We do have some minor league video we can look at. In this age of technology, there’s just no way around not getting 90 percent of the information that you need to get an idea. It still helps to see him in real life.” ... The Blue Jays have had three off days in April and have not needed a No. 5 starter until Saturday. ... The Royals traded RHP Zach Miner to the Detroit Tigers for cash. Miner is 25-20 with a 4.24 ERA in the majors, all with the Tigers, but has not pitched in the big leagues since 2009. He needed season-ending elbow surgery in 2010.

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