O’Hearn and Keller stand out in Royals’ 3-1 victory

Ryan O'Hearn gives high-fives in the dugout after slugging a two-run homer in the second inning against the Blue Jays.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Sean Reid-Foley acknowledged he was a bundle of nerves from his first pitch to his last in his big league debut.

Ryan O’Hearn homered and drove in a career-high three runs, Brad Keller threw seven strong innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 on Monday night to spoil Reid-Foley’s first game.

Reid-Foley (0-1) was removed after 97 pitches and five innings, allowing three runs, six hits and three walks while striking out three. Considered among Toronto’s top pitching prospects, the 22-year-old Reid-Foley is only the second player in major league history to be born in Guam. He was 12-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 23 minor league starts this season.

“I couldn’t really feel my body because I was so nervous,” Reid-Foley said. “I felt like my legs weren’t really working. That’s why a lot of my misses were way out of the zone. I was still nervous in the fifth. Every pitch, still nervous.”

O’Hearn, a rookie who entered hitting .130 with three RBIs, hit an opposite-field homer on Reid-Foley’s first pitch with Brett Phillips aboard with two outs in the second.

“(Opposite-field power) is something that has kind of got me here,” O’Hearn said. “It’s definitely something that has been one of my strengths.”

O’Hearn walked with the bases loaded in the fourth to bring home Lucas Duda, who led off the inning with a single.

Keller (5-5) yielded one run and four hits to pick up his third victory in his past four decisions.

Wily Peralta worked around Justin Smoak’s walk leading off the ninth for his seventh save.

Devon Travis homered in the first for Toronto. It was his fourth home run in 26 at-bats at Kauffman Stadium.

“The pitch before, he shattered his bat,” Keller said. “So I tried to go back in there and he barreled with me around the pole. I made a good pitch and didn’t dwell on it and just tried to go after the next guy.”

Toronto catcher Danny Jansen singled to left in the second in his first big league at-bat.

“The whole day I was trying to tell myself it’s the same game,” Jansen said. “And when I got into the box I was just trying to breathe and trying to put a barrel on the ball.”

Russell Martin tried to score from second on Jansen’s single, but Alex Gordon threw him out. Gordon picked up his ninth assist and leads the majors with 91 outfield assists since 2010, when he was moved from third base to left field.

Salvador Perez threw out Randal Grichuk on a strike-’em-out, throw-’em-out double play to end the sixth. Perez has thrown out eight of 10 since the All-Star break.

“You dare them to run,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of Gordon and Perez. “I’m like, ‘Please run.'”

Whit Merrifield had three of Kansas City’s seven hits. The Royals got their second victory in 11 games.

The Blue Jays dropped 31 games behind AL East leader Boston, the farthest they have been out of first since ending the 2004 season 33 games behind the New York Yankees.

RARE DUO DEBUTING

Reid-Foley and Jansen became the first batterymates to make their major league debuts at the same time in the American League since LHP Billy Rohr and C Russ Gibson on April 14, 1967, for Boston at Yankee Stadium. It has occurred five times in the past 25 years in the National League.

“Both those guys ought to feel real good, even if it was a bad result,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

ROYALS DEFENSE SHINES

The Royals played their 13th straight errorless game, extending their club record. They have not committed an error in 120 innings.

“One thing we’ve consistently done this year is play defense,” Yost said. “The same tune we were playing in the championship years. I’m pleased with the way we’ve played defensively. It’s a real struggle when you’re not winning games and playing sloppy defense. At least defensively, we’re giving ourselves a chance.”

Their last error was July 29 in the first inning at Yankee Stadium.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: 3B Josh Donaldson (left calf tightness) will begin running the bases this week. Gibbons is hopeful that Donaldson will play again this season. … An MRI revealed IF Yangervis Solarte (oblique) has a Grade 2 strain. He will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (shoulder impingement) was placed on the disabled list. RHP Glenn Sparkman was recalled from Triple-A Omaha and will start Thursday in Duffy’s place.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: LHP Ryan Borucki is 2-2 with 2.81 ERA in his first eight starts.

Royals: RHP Heath Fillmyer pitched seven scoreless innings against the Cubs to win his previous start.