|Kevin Gausman threw 6 strong innings in a 3-1 loss to the Royals|
After shellacking the Phillies 8-2 on a day when manager Charlie Montoyo was fired, the Blue Jays opened their final series of the unofficial first half. They took 2/3 from the Royals in KC 5 weeks ago annd outscored the Royals 19-8, including a combined 15-0 in the first 2 games of that series. The Royals were missing a ridiculous ten players who are unvaccinated. Kevin Gausman made his return to the rotation after missing a turn and a few days after getting drilled by a comebacker July 2. Danny Jansen was behind the plate. Lourdes was back in the field after DH'ing yesterday. Alejandro Kirk served as DH today. Could the Blue Jays make it three straight wins? Here is tonight's game recap.
- The Royals opened the scoring in the top of the 5th as Edward Olivares singled scoring Nicky Lopez
- A batter later, Bobby Witt Jr. bashed a solo blast to left
- The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Matt Chapman smacked a solo blast to left-center and into the Blue Jays bullpen
- Angel Zerpa pitching line: 5IP 4H 1R (earned) 2BB 2K 73 pitches (41 for strikes)
- Kevin Gausman pitching line: 6IP 7H 2R (both earned) 2BB 6K 88 pitches (61 for strikes)
- The Royals added a run in the top of the 9th as Nate Eaton hammered a solo bomb to the second deck in left-center
- Scott Barlow pitched a scoreless 9th for his 16th save of the season
- Final score: Royals 3 Blue Jays 1
- Kevin Gausman had a decent start back after missing a start after getting drilled by a comebacker July 2. He gave up a pair of runs on 7 hits while walking 2 and striking out 6. Gausman and the Blue Jays had to be holding their collective breaths in the 4th inningwhen Ryan O'Hearn hit a bullet back at Gausman. Luckily this time Gausman caught it in his glove and was unharmed. He dealth with base runners in every inning but his last. He was able to escape without any damage, except in the 5th inning where he allowed a pair of runs.
- Anthony Banda gave up a back-breaking solo shot in the 9th that put the game out of reach. The bullpen gave up a further 4 hits in the final 3 innings, including three against a normally reliable Adam Cimber. No doubt the Blue Jays will have to look at pitching options to shore up the bullpen at the trade deadline.
- John Schneider's first game-changing decision did not pan out. With a runner on 1st and 1 out, Schneider opted to pinch hit Cavan Biggio, a left-handed bat for Santiago Espinal, who was 0-3 on the night. Biggio grounded into a game-ending double play and left Danny Jansen, who was 2-3 on deck. Espinal is generally a better hitter than Biggio.
- The two Blue Jays catchers, all-star Alejandro Kirk and Jansen combined to go 4-7. The rest of the lineup was a combined 3-13 with 1 run (on a Matt Chapman solo HR) with 3 walks.
- The Blue Jays were 0-5 with runners in scoring position.
- Up next, the Blue Jays try to even the series. Alek Manoah starts against Royals righty Zack Greinke