TORONTO -- Right-hander R.A. Dickey threw seven shutout innings and Chris Colabello smashed a two-run homer as the Blue Jays earned a 5-2 win over the Royals on Sunday to win three of the four games in the series at Rogers Centre.
Right-hander Edinson Volquez went six strong innings for the Royals, giving up just four hits and two runs while walking three and striking out four. It was just his second loss since June 5.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was ejected in the seventh inning after Royals reliever Ryan Madson hit Troy Tulowitzki and then buzzed Josh Donaldson inside. Both benches received warnings when Donaldson was hit in the first inning on a pitch from Volquez.
"There was a warning given out after [Volquez] hit me in the first at-bat," Donaldson said. "Guys get hit all the time. You don't see warnings thrown out all the time, but the reason [home-plate umpire Jim Wolf] did it is because he knew just as well as I did, he hit me on purpose. ... He could've thrown him out immediately right there, which I didn't want him to do. I thought he was pretty good hittin', so I don't want him out of there."
Matters escalated in the eighth inning when with two out, Blue Jays reliever Aaron Sanchez plunked Alcides Escobar. Sanchez was ejected and both benches emptied, though no punches were thrown.
Escobar saw it coming.
"I know for me, two out and nobody on base, they're coming after me ... that's the game," Escobar said.
Royals manager Ned Yost said he was surprised by the Blue Jays' reaction.
"Yeah, little bit," he said. "None of [the inside pitches] were intentional on our part. It's part of the game. [The Blue Jays] are as good an offensive team as you're going to face. They have tremendous power, but they all dive to the inside of the plate which makes them susceptible to inside pitches.
"If you continue to throw away, away, away, you're going to get hammered. You have to throw inside."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED The best revenge:Jose Bautista picked up his teammates during a tension-fueled seventh that led to the eventual ejections of three Blue Jays, including Gibbons. Amid escalating tension from earlier in the game, Madson plunked Tulowitzki and nearly hit Donaldson to trigger Gibbons' ejection and set the stage for Bautista. The Blue Jays slugger drilled the first pitch he saw from Madson -- a 92-mph cutter -- over center fielder Lorenzo Cain's head for a ground-rule double and 3-0 Toronto lead.
"It's a confident group," Gibbons said. "Everything hasn't gone our way. But we played a good brand of baseball against the top team in our league. The thing about baseball, you play that many games, I don't think you send messages. It's not like you came out and steamrolled somebody. Or won a football game by 50 points, you know?"
Zobrist red hot: Newly acquired Ben Zobrist continued his torrid start with the Royals as he hammered his third homer in two days. This blast was a two-run shot in the eighth inning and vanished quickly well past the 400-foot sign in right-center field. The homer came right after Sanchez hit Escobar with a pitch and was ejected, and it pulled the Royals within a run.
"Solid pickup for us," Yost said. "Just gives you a solid, professional at-bat."
Breaking the ice: Colabello followed a leadoff single by Edwin Encarnacion to begin the fourth with his 10th home run of the season -- a hard-hit liner deposited next to the bullpen in left-center -- to put the Blue Jays in front, 2-0. Colabello's blast off Volquez gave him 41 RBIs on the year, eclipsing his previous career high of 39 set last season in Minnesota.
"It's everything you want the game to be," Colabello said. "It's a playoff atmosphere, for sure. It was awesome to hear the crowd get excited with us."
Quality start: Volquez tossed another quality start, his 12th of the season and his fourth straight. He just couldn't match Dickey through six innings because of the two-run homer to Colabello. Volquez's pitch count ran up to 105 before he was pulled. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Royals: Left-hander Danny Duffy will start the opener of a three-game set on Tuesday at 6:08 p.m. CT against the AL Central-rival Tigers at Comerica Park. Duffy is coming off a rough outing at Toronto last Thursday. In a 5-2 loss, he surrendered a career-high three homers.
Blue Jays: Newly acquired ace David Price will make his debut on Monday at 1:07 p.m. ET in the opener of a four-game set against the Twins at Rogers Centre.
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Dan Toman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.