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Toronto at Kansas City

Scoreboard
Toronto (59-57) «0012010004120
Kansas City (51-65)000000010140

Blue Jays 4, Royals 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Now that A.J. Burnett has rejoined a rotation that includes Roy Halladay, the Toronto Blue Jays believe they are poised for improvement -- and they're only 6½ games out of the wild card.

Fresh off the disabled list, the right-hander gave up three hits pitching into the eighth inning and the Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1 Sunday night.

Burnett (6-6) limited the Royals to two singles and Alex Gordon's home run over 7 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked three in his first outing since June 28 and didn't allow a run until Gordon led off the eighth with his 10th homer of the year.

"I think he's going to give us a boost and finish strong, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I think it's going to help us out. All he's doing is making a strong rotation even stronger."

Burnett, who went on the disabled list twice in June due to shoulder strains, won for the first time since May 22 at Baltimore. He was 0-3 in his past five starts.

"I think it's going to be huge for us," catcher Gregg Zaun said. "That just adds another quality starter. A.J. is one of those guys when he's on his game is a legitimate 1-2 (starter) on any ballclub and a lot of clubs would love to have him.

"A lot of people think he's a potential Cy Young candidate. I agree. He's that good."

Burnett recorded 14 of his 22 outs on ground balls on a warm evening when the temperature was 100 degrees for the first pitch.

"It's a hot day and I was trying to pace myself and not overthrow," Burnett said. "If I go all out, I probably would have gone only two innings. I was attacking the zone."

Jeremy Accardo worked the ninth for his 22nd save in 26 opportunities.

Lyle Overbay had three hits, including two doubles, and drove in two runs for the Blue Jays. Zaun also had a pair of doubles and scored twice, and Alex Rios had two hits.

Brian Bannister (8-7) lost for the first time since July 16, snapping a three-game winning streak. Bannister lasted just 4 2/3 innings, his shortest outing since May 4, allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks.

"The hitters were able to eliminate some of my secondary pitches because I was struggling with them," Bannister said. "I was far too predictable when I had to throw a strike. I was just disappointed I wasn't able to control the game enough to give my team a win."

Rios led off the third with a triple and scored on Vernon Wells' sacrifice fly, and Overbay's two-out double to left-center in the fourth scored Zaun and Matt Stairs, increasing the Blue Jays' lead to 3-0.

Zaun doubled to lead off the sixth off reliever Ryan Braun, moved to third on Ray Olmedo's sacrifice bunt and scored on Stairs' sacrifice fly.

The Royals threatened in the third off Burnett. David DeJesus walked with two outs and stole second, but was out at the plate attempting to score on Mark Grudzielanek's single to right.

Grudzielanek's hit was the only time the Royals got the ball to the outfield in the first five innings.

"Burnett was on the plate all night," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "He was pretty efficient pitch-wise, which is somewhat unusual for a power pitcher. We weren't awful. We just got beat by a pretty good pitcher."

Notes

Royals LF Joey Gathright robbed Blue Jays 2B Aaron Hill of a home run for the second consecutive night. ... Stairs led off the game with a double, extending his hitting streak to nine games. ... The Blue Jays placed RHP Brandon League on the disabled list with a pulled muscle in his right side. ... Bell started six left-handed hitters against Burnett, but they went a combined 1-for-15 off him.

 
Copyright 2014 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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Players of the Game
Toronto

L. Overbay
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
Toronto

A. Burnett
IP 7.1
H 3
ER 1
BB 3
K 5
 
Toronto Blue Jays
Matt Stairs, LF1111200 .292
    Reed Johnson, LF1000000 .246
Lyle Overbay, 1B5032004 .255
Alex Rios, RF4120102 .304
Vernon Wells, CF4001015 .261
Frank Thomas, DH5000012 .260
Troy Glaus, 3B4020100 .253
Aaron Hill, 2B5010002 .270
Gregg Zaun, C4220102 .257
Ray Olmedo, SS3010003 .333
Totals36412452  
Batting
2B - Matt Stairs (18, Bannister), Lyle Overbay 2 (23, Bannister, Bale), Gregg Zaun 2 (16, Bannister, Braun)
3B - Alex Rios (6, Bannister)
SF - Matt Stairs (1), Vernon Wells (6)
SH - Ray Olmedo (1)
RBI - Matt Stairs (43), Lyle Overbay 2 (35), Vernon Wells (67)
2-OUT RBI - Lyle Overbay 2 (10)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Alex Rios 1
DP - Olmedo-Hill-Overbay, Hill-Olmedo-Overbay
Toronto Blue Jays
A.J. Burnett (W,6-6) 7.1311351 4.09
Brian Wolfe (H,2) 0.1000000 1.99
Scott Downs (H,19) 0.1000000 2.44
Jeremy Accardo (S,22) 1100010 2.37
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 90-56, Brian Wolfe 2-1, Scott Downs 3-2, Jeremy Accardo 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 13-2, Brian Wolfe 1-0, Scott Downs 1-0, Jeremy Accardo 1-0
Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 26, Brian Wolfe 1, Scott Downs 1, Jeremy Accardo 3
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF3000101 .276
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4010021 .298
Mark Teahen, RF4010010 .289
Billy Butler, DH4010011 .295
Ross Gload, 1B3000001 .286
Alex Gordon, 3B2111100 .244
Jason Smith, SS3000001 .207
Joey Gathright, LF2000110 .356
Jason LaRue, C2000010 .153
   a- Esteban German, PH1000001 .284
    John Buck, C0000000 .232
Totals2814136  
a-hit into fielder's choice for LaRue in the 8th
Batting
HR - Alex Gordon (10, Burnett)
RBI - Alex Gordon (40)
SB - David DeJesus (6, 2nd base off Burnett/Zaun)
Team LOB - 3
Kansas City Royals
Brian Bannister (L,8-7) 4.2733310 3.41
Ryan Braun 2.1311200 7.61
John Bale 2200010 3.75
IBB - Zaun by Ryan Braun
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Bannister 93-56, Ryan Braun 47-23, John Bale 35-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Bannister 4-9, Ryan Braun 5-2, John Bale 2-3
Batters Faced - Brian Bannister 24, Ryan Braun 12, John Bale 8
Game Information
Attendance - 18381
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 100
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Randy Marsh, Third Base - Bob Davidson