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Toronto at Kansas City

Venue: Kauffman Stadium
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A late-season run helped the Kansas City Royals finish just below .500 at Kauffman Stadium in 2011.

The Royals have plenty of work to do if they hope to finish anywhere near that mark this season.

Kansas City looks to avoid an 11th consecutive loss overall and a winless 10-game homestand Monday night when the Toronto Blue Jays go for their first four-game road sweep since 2003.

By winning six of their last eight in Kansas City, the Royals finished 40-41 at home last season - their best record there since splitting 80 games in 2003. Reaching the break-even point would be a major accomplishment for this year's club after falling to 0-9 at home with Sunday's 5-3 loss.

It's the worst home start in franchise history, and the 10 consecutive losses at Kauffman Stadium dating to last season are also the most by the Royals.

"This is not even a hole," said designated hitter Billy Butler, who is 0 for 10 in the series after opening the homestand with 11 hits in his first 24 at-bats. "We finished 32 games under .500 (in 2009). That's a hole."

The Royals (3-12), already 6 1/2 games out of the AL Central lead, last dropped 11 straight during a 12-game skid May 19-30, 2008.

"We're close to getting to the point of needing to make some changes," manager Ned Yost said. "If we need to make some moves, we will, but we can't continue with this."

Yost and the Royals hope Monday's scheduled starter Bruce Chen (0-1, 2.00 ERA) can help them avoid matching the 12-game slide.

Opponents are batting just .203 off the veteran left-hander, but Chen's run-support average of 1.50 ranks among the lowest in the majors. He allowed two runs in seven-plus innings of Tuesday's 3-1 home loss to Detroit.

Chen is 4-2 with a 3.42 ERA in eight career starts versus Toronto.

He'll face a Blue Jays team targeting its first four-game road sweep since May 22-25, 2003, against the New York Yankees.

Toronto (9-6), which is also going for its second 6-1 road start in three seasons, will try to extend its season-high winning streak to four with Brandon Morrow (0-1, 4.50) on the hill.

The right-hander led the AL last season with 10.19 strikeouts per nine innings, but he has just nine in his first 20 innings of 2012.

Another concern is that Morrow has been tagged for six homers after giving up a career high-tying three in Wednesday's 12-2 loss to Tampa Bay.

"He wasn't able to get away with too many mistakes," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said after Morrow yielded season highs of six runs and eight hits. "First-pitch fastballs found their way back to the middle and were squared up for extra-bases."

Morrow went 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA in two starts against Kansas City last season.

Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer is 3 for 6 with a homer off Morrow, but is batting .171 (6 for 35) on the current homestand.

Blue Jays third baseman Edwin Encarnacion, 5 for 12 with a homer and four RBIs during the series, is hitless in three at-bats against Chen.

So is two-time defending major league home run champion Jose Bautista, who has gone 32 consecutive at-bats at Kauffman Stadium without a homer.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Brandon Morrow, RHP
2012 stats
20.0 Innings Pitched 18.0
0-1 Wins-Losses 0-1
4.50 Earned Run Average 2.00
7 Walks 2
9 Strikeouts 14
0.0 Pitches Per Start 0.0
Career vs. opponent
27.0 Innings Pitched 62.2
2-4 Wins-Losses 4-2
5.33 Earned Run Average 2.87

Bruce Chen, LHP
Weather
weather image  Sunny. Mild.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
67°F43°F7mph/NW40%7%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Toronto2nd AL East8973.54946-4 W 2
Kansas City3rd AL Central8181.50013 ½ 4-6 L 4
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Bruce Chen
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Escobar32100.667
Johnson31001.333
Vizquel31001.333
Davis51010.200
Mathis51101.200
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Brandon Morrow
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Moustakas110101.000
Betancourt21000.500
Hosmer63102.500
Francoeur62001.333
Gordon81025.125
 

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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Toronto -120 Kansas City 110
Injuries
Toronto
PlayerInjury
J. BenoitCalf
A. CasillaUndisclosed
W. CastilloUndisclosed
G. FloydShoulder
B. McFarlandUndisclosed
J. MonteroSuspension
S. Reid-FoleyUndisclosed
D. TravisKnee
Kansas City
PlayerInjury
L. CainWrist
T. CollinsElbow
D. GeeShoulder
L. HochevarShoulder
G. HollandElbow
E. HosmerWrist
K. MedlenShoulder
M. MinorShoulder
M. MoustakasKnee
K. ZimmerShoulder
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 3MIN 4:10 PM EDT  
Apr 5MIN 1:10 PM EDT  
Apr 6MIN 1:10 PM EDT  
Apr 28KC   
Apr 29KC   
Apr 30KC   
May 19MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
May 20MIN 2:10 PM EDT  
May 21MIN 2:10 PM EDT  
Jun 30KC   
Jul 1KC   
Jul 2KC   
Sep 1MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Sep 2MIN 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 3MIN 2:10 PM EDT  
Sep 7KC   
Sep 8KC   
Sep 9KC   
Sep 10KC