After two shutout wins to open the week/road trip/series against the Royals, the Blue Jays were looking for their 3rd straight win and 3rd series sweep of the season. Yusei Kikuchi got the start with Zack Collins behind the plate. George Springer was back in the field after DH'ing yesterday. Vlad got the half day off as DH with Cavan Biggio at 1B. Teo got the full day off with Raimel Tapia in RF. Lourdes was back in LF after the full day off yesterday. Could the Blue Jays complete their third series sweep of the season and extend the win streak to 3 games? Here is today's game recap.
- The Royals opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st as DJ Melendez doubled scoring Andrew Benintendi
- Two batters later, Emmanuel Rivera singled scoring Bobby Witt Jr. and Melendez
- Yusei Kikuchi pitching line: 0.2IP 2H 3R (all earned) 4BB 2K 45 pitches (24 for strikes)
- The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 2nd as Raimel Tapia hammered a solo bomb into the fountain in right-center
- The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 3rd as Zack Collins bashed a solo shot to right-center
- Four batters later, Cavan Biggio scored on a ground out hit by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
- The Royals retook the lead in the bottom of the 4th as Salvador Perez singled home Benintendi
- A batter later, Witt Jr. scored on a fielder's choice hit by Melendez
- The Royals added a run in the bottom of the 5th as Michael A. Taylor doubled home Carlos Santana
- The Royals added a run in the bottom of the 6th as Santana doubled scoring Perez
- The Royals added a run in the bottom of the 7th as Whit Merrifield doubled home Taylor
- The Blue Jays got one back in the top of the 9th as Biggio singled scoring Collins
- Final score: Blue Jays 8 Royals 4
- Yusei Kikuchi had his shortest outing as a Blue Jay and the second shortest start by a Blue Jay this season (Jose Berrios managed just one out on opening day). Kikuchi managed to get just two outs. He struck out the first batter he faced, but then walked three of the next five batters. Perhaps Zack Collins could have done a better job with framing of pitches, but Kikuchi also was missing badly on some of the pitches. With Ryu expected to be out long-term and the Blue Jays slated for extended time on the IL with concerning issues with his forearm and elbow and the Blue Jays about to play 13 straight games after tomorrow's off-day and 19 in 19 after the following off-day June 23rd, Kikuchi's place in the rotation is secure for the next several starts.
- The bullpen wasn't much better today. The Royals tacked on at least one run in every inning but the 3nd, 3rd and 8th. Trevor Richards had an especially rough outing, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits while walking 1 and striking out 1 over 1.1 innings. You almost hope he's tipping his pitches. Lefty Andrew Vasquez was the only reliever to retire every batter he faced
- Offensively, it was a familiar theme. The Blue Jays had opportunities to drive in runs, but they frustratingly left a ton of runners in scoring position. Today, the team was 1-10 with runners in scoring position
- Every Blue Jays starter reached base at least once and only Vlad went hitless. Zack Collins made a good early impression as temporary backup catcher with Danny Jansen out with a fractured pinky. He scored half of the Blue Jays runs, including a solo bomb in the fountain at Kauffman Stadium
- Up next, after an off-day tomorrow, the Blue Jays begin a weekend series in Detroit. The two teams split the season series in 2021 with both teams taking 2 of 3 on the road. The Tigers outscored the Blue Jays 14-13. Ace Jose Berrios starts Friday's opener against Tigers righty Elvin Rodriguez.