Blue Jays-Royals Preview

Vin Mazzaro made a historic appearance the last time he pitched

for the Kansas City Royals, though it was the kind of outing which

led to a demotion rather than a celebration.

Given another opportunity to stick with the big club, Mazzaro

takes the mound Tuesday night against the visiting Toronto Blue

Jays hoping to rebound from one of the worst performances in recent

history.

Mazzaro (0-0, 22.74 ERA) made a relief appearance May 16 against

Cleveland and was tagged for 14 runs and 11 hits in 2 1-3 innings

of Kansas City’s 19-1 loss. He became the fourth pitcher since 1946

to allow 14 runs, but Mazzaro was the only one of the four who did

so in less than five innings.

The right-hander was sent to Triple-A Omaha immediately

following the game, but he’s won his three starts since arriving

back in the minors. Mazzaro will be making Tuesday’s start in place

of the injured Sean O’Sullivan, who went to the disabled list

Friday with tendinitis in his right biceps.

Manager Ned Yost said he plans to give Mazzaro at least two

starts to be further evaluated.

“He’s gone back and thrown three straight quality starts and we

need to give him an opportunity. We need to give him a chance. We

need to give him a look,” Yost told the team’s official

website.

Mazzaro made his only other start this season May 11 against the

New York Yankees, allowing two runs in four innings. He didn’t fare

well in his only career start against Toronto on Aug. 2, 2009,

while pitching with Oakland, allowing seven runs and 10 hits

through five innings of a 7-2 loss.

The Royals (26-34) snapped a four-game losing streak Monday with

a 3-2, 11-inning victory against the Blue Jays when Eric Hosmer

singled in the winning run.

Hosmer went 2 for 5, drove in two runs and scored the other

while extending his hitting streak to eight games. The rookie is

hitting .400 with nine RBIs during that span.

”I just knew Hosmer was going to get a hit,” Yost said. ”I

said there’s no way we’re not going to win this game in this

inning.”

Toronto (30-30) has lost four of six overall and five of six at

Kauffman Stadium.

Jose Bautista, who played 13 games for the Royals in 2004 before

being traded, drove in a run and now has 13 RBIs in his last seven

contests against his former team, including a pair of five-RBI

games.

However, the major league leader in home runs with 20 has gotten

off to a slow start in June, going 3 for 17 (.176), and also has

gone a season-high eight games without a homer. Despite the slump,

Bautista still is tied for the league lead with a .348 average.

The Blue Jays will turn to Kyle Drabek (3-4, 4.69 ERA) in hopes

of getting back on track, though the youngster has struggled of

late.

Drabek lasted only two-thirds of an inning Wednesday in a 13-9

loss to Cleveland, allowing four runs, three hits and three walks.

He’s 0-2 with a 6.08 ERA in his last three starts while issuing 11

walks and yielding 14 hits in 13 1-3 innings.

Drabek has never faced the Royals.