Blue Jays-Royals Preview

Adam Lind’s return has kept the Toronto Blue Jays surging on the

road. A four-game series at the punchless Kansas City Royals

appears to be an ideal chance to keep it that way.

Lind looks to build on one of his most impressive performances

of the season when the Blue Jays face the spiraling Royals for the

first time in 2011 on Monday night.

Lind went 4 for 4 with two homers and three RBIs to power

Toronto (30-29) to a 7-4 win at Baltimore in his second game since

a back injury sidelined him since May 8.

“To be able to plug a four-hole hitter back in the lineup, and a

left handed hitter that has had very good success, gives us that

balance,” manager John Farrell told the team’s official website.

“It’s good to see Adam back here with us.”

The Blue Jays are 15-15 on the road, but have won seven of 10 as

the visitor while hitting .290 with 12 homers. They’re also 2-1 on

this seven-game road trip, and Lind is 23 for 46 with seven homers

and 16 RBIs over his last 12 games away from Toronto.

Kansas City (25-34) has dropped 17 of 22 overall, and 11 of 15

at home after losing 6-0 to last-place Minnesota on Sunday that

completed a four-game sweep for the Twins.

The Blue Jays, though, split six meetings with the Royals last

year, and are 3-8 in their last 11 at Kauffman.

Lind has had a tough time with Kansas City, batting .190 with

three homers and seven RBIs in 15 games.

Toronto turns to Brandon Morrow (2-3, 5.11 ERA) for his first

appearance at Kansas City in almost three years. The right-hander

is 0-3 with a 10.57 ERA in five games there, and was pounded in his

only start in a loss with Seattle on Sept. 16, 2008. He surrendered

six runs and three homers in four innings.

The right-hander is 0-1 with a 5.50 ERA in his last three games,

and that defeat came Tuesday when he gave up six runs and nine hits

with nine strikeouts in a 6-3 loss to Cleveland.

Morrow, though, will be contending with a Royals’ team that was

outscored 26-6 over the last four games and managed seven singles

Sunday.

“We’re not putting together much offense right now,” manager Ned

Yost said. “That hurts when you can’t do that.”

Despite Kansas City’s offensive woes, Billy Butler owns a .382

average over the last 14 games. He’s 9 for 20 with two homers and

six RBIs to lead the Royals to four wins in their past five home

matchups with the Blue Jays.

Felipe Paulino (0-0, 0.00) is scheduled to take the mound

against Toronto for the first time as he continues to transition

from the bullpen to the rotation since being acquired from Colorado

on May 26.

The right-hander was impressive in his first start of the

season, yielding four hits in five innings while not getting a

decision in a 2-0 win over Los Angeles on Wednesday. He was even

better in 4 1-3 innings of relief in his Royals’ debut May 27,

allowing one hit in a 12-7 win in 14 at Texas.

“The outing in Texas was in a hitter-friendly park, and he

looked just like he did (in his first start) – dynamic slider, good

fastball, throwing strikes, getting quick outs,” Yost told the

team’s official website.