Whenever Yordano Ventura pitches, the excitement amongst Royals fans is palpable. While Ventura performed well, it was Alcides Escobar who delivered, helping the Royals to a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Royals struck early against Toronto starter Drew Hutchinson. Nori Aoki slapped a ball down the left field line for a double, and took third on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on Eric Hosmer‘s sacrifice fly. After Omar Infante doubled to lead off the fourth, Hosmer followed with a double of his own off the base of the right field wall to plate Infante for the Royals second run.
With the way that Ventura was pitching, those two runs seems as though they would be enough. The Blue Jays failed to get a runner beyond second during the first five innings, as Ventura was mixing his pitches and keeping the opposition off balance. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays fouled off a great deal of pitches, forcing Ventura to throw 92 pitches through those five innings. With that high of a pitch count, the Royals brought in Danny Duffy to start the sixth.
The game immediately took a turn for the worse for the Royals. Duffy drilled Melky Cabrera in the leg with his first pitch, then walked Jose Bautista on five pitches. That was all for Duffy, who was replaced by Aaron Crow. Edwin Encarnacion and Juan Francisco each had RBI base hits to center, tying the game at 2-2. Toronto had a chance to take the lead in the top of the seventh, putting runners on first and second with no outs, but Kelvin Herrera was able to work out of the jam to keep the game tied.
The Royals took advantage in the bottom of the inning. Billy Butler led off with a base hit, and was replaced by Jimmy Paredes. Paredes promptly stole second and third, giving the Royals runners at the corners when Salvador Perez walked. With two out in the inning, Alcides Escobar continued to deliver, slashing a double to left to clear the bases and give the Royals a 4-2 lead.
Wade Davis made it interesting in the eighth, loading the bases with two outs before striking out Jose Reyes to end the threat. Greg Holland pitched the ninth, allowing a double to Encarnacion before slamming the door for the Royals 4-2 victory. Herrera picked up the win, pitching a scoreless inning, striking out one while giving up a hit and a walk.
Eric Hosmer was 2-3 with two doubles and two RBIs in the win.