Six-run fourth sends Royals to defeat

Six-run fourth sends Royals to defeat

Six-run fourth sends Royals to defeat
TORONTO -- Maybe it was the fresh Canadian air that woke up the Toronto Blue Jays. Who could say?

The fact was, just after the roof of Rogers Centre was rolled open during the fourth inning, the Blue Jays surged from behind with a six-run inning and defeated the Royals, 6-3, on Tuesday night before a crowd of 15,516.

"They should've kept it closed," said Jason Bourgeois, who had the Royals' biggest hit in the third inning.

Bourgeois, called up from Triple-A Omaha primarily because of his ability to hit left-handed pitchers, continued to justify that reasoning. Including his two-run triple, he's 7-for-14 against lefties since his recall a week ago.

His victim this time was Brett Cecil, who is generally susceptible to right-handed hitters, which is Bourgeois' side. A couple of other righties, Jeff Francoeur and Salvador Perez, had started the inning with back-to-back singles. Bourgeois bounced a drive off the wall in the left-center field gap, then scored from third on Alex Gordon's sacrifice fly.

"That's my job. I take pride in it," Bourgeois said. "I know that's going to be pretty much what I do, is come off [the bench] and hit against left-handed pitching with the success that I had last year. So I just want to take advantage of any opportunity given."

Bourgeois has been platooning in center field with left-handed batter Jarrod Dyson.

"He's done a great job and that's been his game," manager Ned Yost said. "He's always been successful against left-handed pitching and does a lot of things with his feet, too."

The third-inning outburst gave Royals starter Vin Mazzaro a 3-0 lead which lasted only until the bottom of the fourth inning, when the Blue Jays struck for six runs while accumulating eight hits. In the first three innings, Mazzaro faced the minimum nine batters. In the fourth inning alone, he faced 11 batters.

Four singles -- three of the infield variety -- started the commotion. The most damaging blows came with two outs: a two-run single that Rajai Davis spanked into right field, followed by a three-run homer that Adam Lind lofted into the right-field stands. It was Lind's sixth homer and his third since returning eight days ago from a 32-game stay with Triple-A Las Vegas.

Lind was asked how the baseball looked since his return from the Minors.

"It looks a little slower," he said. "That was one of the reasons why I went down there, was to try and slow the ball down."

Maybe that's how that 1-1 slider from Mazzaro looked to him.

"It just kind of built up on him and culminated with the home run by Adam Lind," Yost said. "He was throwing the ball fine to that point and then he came back and gave us another inning and a third."

Added to the rotation when a doubleheader at Minnesota created a scheduling crunch, Mazzaro was a long reliever subbing as a starter. And, in effect, he filled both roles in this game and lasted into the sixth inning when Greg Holland took over. Mazzaro gave up 13 hits but no walks.

Mazzaro decided not to talk to reporters after the game -- and after being optioned back to Omaha.

"We've optioned Vinnie out, just to get an extra arm in here. He wasn't slated to throw through the All-Star break so we'll get another arm up here," Yost said.

Just who that arm belongs to won't be announced until before Wednesday night's game.

Cecil's outing ended after Mike Moustakas led off the Royals' seventh with a double to right. Jason Frasor took the mound and Moustakas took third as Francoeur grounded out, then tried to score after right fielder Jose Bautista caught Perez's fly ball.

Bautista's throw was high, but Moustakas, diving in, missed home plate with his hand and catcher Jeff Mathis tagged him before he could scramble back.

"I had to go around him," Moustakas said. "He went up and to the right, so I went down to the left and I went a little too far left. I just missed the plate by about three feet, I think. We had a little hug as he tagged me out. He's a nice guy, he patted me. It was pretty funny. He hugged me and I went back to the dugout -- there was nothing you could do."

After that comic relief, the Royals had only one more baserunner, when Dyson doubled in the eighth. They just couldn't get anything going after the third inning.

Could it be that opening the roof brought a breath of fresh Canadian air to boost the Blue Jays? A member of the Royals' traveling party promptly pointed out that on Monday night, with the roof wide open all evening, it was Kansas City bats that hammered out an 11-3 victory.

OK, never mind.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.