TORONTO -- Josh Towers is starting to fulfill his promise.
Towers won his third straight start by pitching eight strong innings, and the Toronto Blue Jays ended a four-game losing streak with a 6-1 victory over the struggling Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
"I think I have to prove myself," said Towers, who has yet to show he can be consistent since breaking into the majors in 2001. "When I was a rookie, I started pretty good and then struggled at the end. The next year, I had one of the worst years you've ever seen, so I haven't really proved myself as an everyday guy yet."
Towers foundered in the Orioles organization in 2002, going a combined 0-12 with an ERA just under 8.00 with Baltimore and Triple-A Rochester. He was 0-3 with a 7.90 ERA for Baltimore.
The 28-year-old right-hander went 8-1 with a 4.48 ERA with Toronto in 2003, but finished 9-9 with a 5.11 ERA last season.
Towers (4-1), Toronto's fifth starter, allowed one run and seven hits, struck out five and walked one against Kansas City. He has allowed two runs in his last 22 2/3 innings, dropping his ERA to 3.12, and has given up two runs or fewer in five of seven starts.
"I'm getting older, a little smarter," Towers said. "I'm definitely focused more."
Gibbons said Towers has won him over by his ability to win, and he thinks he's throwing harder this year.
"He just keeps going out there and winning for us. He just knows how to win," Gibbons said.
Russ Adams hit a two-run triple for the Blue Jays, swept in three of their previous four home series.
Joe McEwing drove in Kansas City's run with an RBI grounder in the sixth. The Royals have lost six of seven, dropping to an AL-worst 8-24.
"We're playing good baseball, but not enough to win," Kansas City's David DeJesus said. "Teams are putting up one big inning against us, and that's putting us out of games."
Royals starter Runelvys Hernandez (1-5) left with a bruised right upper arm. He was struck by Corey Koskie's liner in the fifth, then threw out Koskie and got the last two outs of the inning. But he didn't come out for the sixth.
Hernandez has lost five straight decisions after winning his first start. He gave up two runs and five hits.
"I felt OK. I wanted to keep going, but the ball hit me pretty good," Hernandez said.
Kansas City's John Buck led off the sixth with a single, advanced to third on DeJusus' double and scored on McEwing's RBI grounder.
Toronto scored four runs in the bottom half on Adams' two-run triple off Kyle Synder, Huckaby's RBI grounder and Frank Catalanotto's run-scoring double.
|Josh Towers improves to 4-1 with a 3.12 ERA by beating Kansas City. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Kansas City Royals|
|David DeJesus, CF||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.261|
|Joe McEwing, 2B||4||0||1||1||0||1||0||.333|
|Mike Sweeney, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.336|
|Matt Stairs, DH||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.232|
|Terrence Long, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.210|
|Emil Brown, RF||2||0||1||0||1||1||0||.203|
|Angel Berroa, SS||4||0||0||0||0||3||3||.230|
|Mark Teahen, 3B||3||0||1||0||0||2||2||.242|
|John Buck, C||3||1||1||0||0||0||1||.169|
|2B - David DeJesus (2, Towers)|
|RBI - Joe McEwing (1)|
|CS - David DeJesus (4, 2nd base by Towers/Huckaby)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|E - Mark Teahen (2, Misplayed grounder)|
|Kansas City Royals|
|Runelvys Hernandez (L,1-5)||5||5||2||2||1||1||0||4.87|
|HBP - Hudson (by Kyle Snyder)|
|WP - Jaime Cerda (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Runelvys Hernandez 85-54, Kyle Snyder 26-15, Jaime Cerda 34-18, Leo Nunez 15-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Runelvys Hernandez 10-5, Kyle Snyder 2-0, Jaime Cerda 3-1|
|Batters Faced - Runelvys Hernandez 22, Kyle Snyder 7, Jaime Cerda 6, Leo Nunez 3|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Orlando Hudson, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.280|
|Frank Catalanotto, LF||4||0||1||1||0||0||3||.284|
|Reed Johnson, LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.313|
|Corey Koskie, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.258|
|Shea Hillenbrand, DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.359|
|Eric Hinske, 1B||2||1||1||0||2||0||0||.262|
|Vernon Wells, CF||4||2||2||0||0||0||2||.213|
|Alex Rios, RF||3||1||1||1||1||0||2||.288|
|Russ Adams, SS||4||1||1||2||0||0||3||.272|
|Ken Huckaby, C||4||0||1||2||0||1||0||.250|
|2B - Orlando Hudson (6, Ru. Hernandez), Frank Catalanotto (7, Snyder), Eric Hinske (7, Ru. Hernandez)|
|3B - Russ Adams (1, Snyder)|
|RBI - Frank Catalanotto (10), Alex Rios (16), Russ Adams 2 (13), Ken Huckaby 2 (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - Frank Catalanotto (4)|
|SB - Orlando Hudson (3, 2nd base off Snyder/Buck), Vernon Wells (2, 2nd base off Snyder/Buck), Russ Adams (2, 2nd base off Ru. Hernandez/Buck)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Hudson-R. Adams-Hinske|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Josh Towers (W,4-1)||8||7||1||1||1||5||0||3.12|
|HBP - E. Brown (by Josh Towers)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Josh Towers 108-75, Justin Speier 16-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Towers 11-6|
|Batters Faced - Josh Towers 31, Justin Speier 3|
|Attendance - 13839|
|Game Time - 2:39|
|Temperature - 68|
|Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Jerry Meals|