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Toronto at Kansas City

Venue: Kauffman Stadium

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 2016 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 image  Sunny. Mild.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Toronto3rd AL East8773.54465-5 L 3
Kansas City3rd AL Central8179.50611 ½ 4-6 L 2
vs Bruce Chen
vs Brandon Morrow

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Game Odds
Toronto -120 Kansas City 110
J. BenoitCalf
A. CasillaUndisclosed
W. CastilloUndisclosed
G. FloydShoulder
B. McFarlandUndisclosed
J. MonteroSuspension
S. Reid-FoleyUndisclosed
Kansas City
L. CainWrist
T. CollinsElbow
D. GeeShoulder
L. HochevarShoulder
G. HollandElbow
K. MedlenShoulder
M. MinorShoulder
M. MoustakasKnee
K. ZimmerShoulder
Series Game Log
May 6CLECLE 7-1Salazar Ventura 
May 7CLEKC 7-0Kennedy Anderson 
May 8CLECLE 5-4Tomlin Volquez 
Jun 2CLECLE 5-4Hunter Soria 
Jun 3CLECLE 6-1Salazar Volquez 
Jun 4CLECLE 7-1Tomlin Kennedy 
Jun 5CLECLE 7-0Kluber Young 
Jun 13KCKC 2-1Volquez Carrasco 
Jun 14KCKC 3-2Soria Shaw 
Jun 15KCKC 9-4Kennedy Kluber 
Jul 18KCKC 7-3Hochevar Shaw 
Jul 19KCCLE 7-3Salazar Flynn 
Jul 20KCCLE 11-4Carrasco Kennedy 
Sep 20CLECLE 2-1Miller Flynn 
Sep 21CLECLE 4-3Kluber Kennedy 
Sep 22CLECLE 5-2Otero Gee 
Sep 30KCCLE 7-2  
Oct 1KC 4:15 PM EDT  
Oct 2KC 3:15 PM EDT