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Bautista, Morrow take over as Jays stomp Royals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- Brian Bannister blamed himself. So did Brayan Pena.

The way Brandon Morrow pitched, though, Bannister may have had to shut out the Toronto Blue Jays, anyway.

Jose Bautista hit two home runs, Morrow pitched seven innings for his first good start of the season, and the Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 8-1 Monday night.

"I was not prepared for that game and it clearly showed out there," Bannister said. "I didn't give us a chance to win. I got exactly what I deserved and I take all the blame."

Pena, making his first start of the year, tried to take the heat off his pitcher.

"I have to do a better job calling games," Pena said. "It's my fault. I let my team down and I really feel bad for it. I apologize to my teammates and I apologize to my team."

Travis Snider also homered to help the Blue Jays snap a three-game losing streak and win for the 18th time in 22 home games against Kansas City.

Bautista hit a three-run drive off the facing of the third deck in left in the fifth, then added a two-run drive to left in the seventh, the third multihomer game of his career. His five RBI matched a career high.

Attendance was 10,314, the smallest crowd in the 22-year history of Rogers Centre and breaking the mark set last Wednesday, when Toronto drew 10,610 for a game against the Chicago White Sox.

Morrow (1-1) allowed one run and three hits, lowering his ERA from 12.00 to 7.31. He walked two and struck out eight.

"He was good, Morrow was really good," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "He made it hard on us. He located his breaking ball down and out of the zone and he threw it for strikes."

Tagged for seven runs and eight hits in his last start, Morrow found success in this one by lowering his arm angle on the advice of pitching coach Bruce Walton.

"You guys probably couldn't even tell, but to me it feels like I'm throwing sidearm," Morrow said. "It's really not much at all, it's just getting my upper body more up and down rather than tilting off to the side."

The right-hander held the Royals without a hit through the first five innings but lost his shutout in the sixth.

Alex Gordon drew a leadoff walk, took second on a grounder and went to third when ninth hitter Yuniesky Betancourt lined a single through the left side. David DeJesus followed with an RBI single to right.

Shawn Camp and Casey Janssen finished with an inning each.

Bannister (0-1) allowed six runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, raising his ERA from 2.19 to 4.58. He walked four and struck out six. He acknowledged being so angry that he didn't stay in the dugout after being pulled, but otherwise declined to elaborate on his lack of preparation.

"The game needed to be planned for better," Bannister said. "They're a good team, a good hitting team and it was a very sub-par effort out there. I take all the blame for it. It wasn't how I wanted to go out there and pitch."

Bannister spoke briefly with Pena on his way out of the clubhouse, and the two exchanged a fist-bump before Bannister left.

"I don't blame him, I blame myself," Pena said. "It's my fault and I should have called a better game. He's taking responsibility because he's a good teammate but I have to do a better job."

Toronto opened the scoring on an odd play in the third. One out after Mike McCoy singled and stole second, Alex Gonzalez struck out on a wild pitch that bounced away from catcher Brayan Pena. Rather than allowing the ball to roll into the first-base dugout, which would have kept McCoy at third, Pena threw to first, and Gonzalez was safe when Pena's high toss pulled Billy Butler off the bag. McCoy never broke stride and scored without a throw.

"He should have let it go in the dugout," Hillman said. "Then you end up with first and third. That's tough. Brayan thinks he's got a play at first base. For a second it looked like he was going to have a play and then obviously he didn't. Heads up baserunning by McCoy."

Snider made it 2-0 with a leadoff homer to right in the fourth before Bautista's three-run shot made it 5-0.

Gonzalez hit an RBI double in the sixth and Bautista capped his night by homering again in the seventh.

Toronto first baseman Lyle Overbay, who came in batting .080, went 2 for 2 with two walks and scored twice, raising his average to .115. He also reached on a catcher's interference call.

Notes
  • Royals OF Scott Podsednik , who leads the AL with a .457 average, went home to Kansas City to deal with a family emergency and should rejoin the team Tuesday, manager Trey Hillman said.
  • Toronto LHP Brian Tallet (sore forearm) will have his next start pushed back three days. Tallet had been set to pitch Friday at Tampa Bay but will not work until Monday at home to Boston.
  • McCoy's three hits were a career high.
  • Blue Jays 3B Edwin Encarnacion (sore right arm) missed his fifth straight game.
 
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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Jose Bautista goes deep twice for a total of five RBI, which matches a career high.  (AP)
Jose Bautista goes deep twice for a total of five RBI, which matches a career high. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

J. Bautista
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 5
Toronto

B. Morrow
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 2
K 8
 
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, RF3011101 .302
Alberto Callaspo, 2B4000012 .269
Billy Butler, 1B4000003 .294
Jose Guillen, DH4020010 .377
Rick Ankiel, CF4000032 .255
Brayan Pena, C3000011 .000
Alex Gordon, 3B2100110 .167
Mitch Maier, LF3010010 .100
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS3010011 .319
Totals3015129  
Batting
2B - Mitch Maier (1, Camp)
RBI - David DeJesus (6)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Brayan Pena (1, Interference)
Kansas City Royals
Brian Bannister (L,0-1) 5.1766462 4.58
Luis Mendoza 1322101 22.50
Robinson Tejeda 0.2000010 12.71
Kyle Farnsworth 1100110 3.86
WP - Brian Bannister 2 (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Bannister 98-61, Luis Mendoza 28-14, Robinson Tejeda 12-8, Kyle Farnsworth 20-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Bannister 5-6, Luis Mendoza 1-2
Batters Faced - Brian Bannister 29, Luis Mendoza 7, Robinson Tejeda 2, Kyle Farnsworth 5
Toronto Blue Jays
Fred Lewis, LF4000122 .111
Alex Gonzalez, SS5011012 .300
Adam Lind, DH4000112 .309
Vernon Wells, CF4110124 .333
Lyle Overbay, 1B2220200 .115
Jose Bautista, 3B4225105 .216
Travis Snider, RF5121012 .143
Jose Molina, C4000013 .154
Mike McCoy, 2B4230000 .320
Totals36811768  
Batting
2B - Alex Gonzalez (8, Bannister), Vernon Wells (4, Bannister), Lyle Overbay (2, Bannister), Mike McCoy (3, Mendoza)
HR - Jose Bautista 2 (3, Bannister, Mendoza), Travis Snider (2, Bannister)
RBI - Alex Gonzalez (9), Jose Bautista 5 (10), Travis Snider (4)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Bautista 3 (7)
SB - Mike McCoy 2 (3, 2nd base off Bannister/B. Pena, 2nd base off Bannister/B. Pena)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - McCoy-A. Gonzalez-Overbay, A. Gonzalez-Overbay
Toronto Blue Jays
Brandon Morrow (W,1-1) 7311280 7.31
Shawn Camp 1100010 1.08
Casey Janssen 1100000 1.50
WP - Brandon Morrow (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Morrow 90-64, Shawn Camp 15-9, Casey Janssen 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Morrow 8-3, Shawn Camp 2-0, Casey Janssen 2-1
Batters Faced - Brandon Morrow 24, Shawn Camp 4, Casey Janssen 4
Game Information
Attendance - 10314
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - John Hirschbeck, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - Laz Diaz