Sanchez not on top of his game as Blue Jays fall to Royals
Aaron Sanchez hit a bit of a speed bump, allowing 4 earned runs over 6 innings of work as the Blue Jays fell 4-2 at the hands of the Kansas City Royals.
Sanchez, who recently was given the okay to remain the starting rotation, lost his streak of 8 consecutive starts with 2 runs allowed or less.
Most of the damage against him came in the 5th inning as the Royals scored 3 runs in the only way the Royals know how to: stringing singles together.
While Sanchez didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning when Lorenzo Cain blooped a single into shallow centre field out of the reach of both shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and centre fielder Kevin Pillar, it all unraveled in the following inning.
While Sanchez would go on to escape the jam in the 4th (men on first and third with one out) with a timely strikeout of Kendrys Morales, followed by a much needed ground ball out to end the inning, he could not stop the bleeding in the 5th.
Starting off with a single for Alex Gordon (his first against the Blue Jays all year), the Royals would go on to load the bases with no outs on the strength of a single by Paolo Orlando and a perfect bunt single off the bat of rookie Raul Mondesi Jr.
Pesky shortstop Alcides Escobar then plated the first Royals run of the day on an infield single.
After one run came in, it looked like Sanchez just might escape the bases loaded situation, as he got a pop up to travis, followed by a key out at the plate as Josh Donaldson forced out Orlando at home.
But as the Royals always seem to do (at least last year), they would not let the rally die as Eric Hosmer would go on to plate 2 more with a single.
Outside of the one disastrous inning, Sanchez actually pitched quite well in this game as he induced 9 ground ball outs (while not up to his usual norms, not bad numbers) and only walked one batter.
On another day where the Blue Jays bats stayed relatively quiet, second basemen Devon Travis continued his torrid run at the plate, going 2 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBI’s.
His third home run in the last 2 games just also happened to be his second home run to lead off a game in the last 2 days.
Travis also went on to drive in the only other Blue Jays run in this game on an RBI single in the 5th inning, as he pushed his batting average on the year up to .294.
And while the middle of the order for the Toronto Blue Jays (Bautista, Donaldson, Encarnacion and Martin) finished the game an abysmal 0 for 14, Kevin Pillar was one of the only other bright lights on offence, going 2 for 4 including and infield single to lead off the 7th inning on a head first dive to first base that required a replay review to be confirmed.
Toronto received another great performance out of the bullpen from rookie Danny Barnes, as he followed his brilliant debut against the Houston Astros with 2 scoreless innings in this bout.
Despite giving up leadoff doubles in both of the innings he pitched, Barnes managed to keep the Royals off the board, finishing his two frames with two strikeouts and no walks.
Fun fact of the day: the Toronto Blue Jays extended their franchise streaks of consecutive home runs without men on base to 16 with Devon Travis’s solo blast to start the game.
Next up the Blue Jays will send a recently resurgent Marcus Stroman to the mound (8-4 with a 4.74) to face off against the controversial young gun in Yordano Ventura (6-9, 4.83 ERA) of the Kansas City Royals, starting at 2:15 Eastern Standard Time.