Royals fall to Blue Jays 5-2 in opener of four-game series
TORONTO -- Kansas City's Danny Duffy doesn't often give up a lot of home runs. That changed against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Dioner Navarro hit a two-run homer, Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson added solo shots and the Blue Jays beat Duffy and the Royals 5-2 on Thursday night.
"I just didn't make pitches when I needed to," Duffy said. "They capitalized excellently on every single one of my mistakes."
Duffy (4-5) allowed five runs and six hits in six innings, losing for the first time since June 30, at Houston.
"I'm better than that, I'm a lot better than I displayed tonight," he said.
The three home runs were one more than Duffy had surrendered in his four previous starts combined.
"He gave up six hits but three of them resulted in four runs," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
The Blue Jays have homered in 12 consecutive games since the All-Star break, their longest streak of the season.
"That's what we do best," Toronto manager John Gibbons said.
Kansas City, which lost 12-1 at Cleveland on Wednesday, allowed three homers in consecutive games for the first time this season.
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"You make a mistake and they can hammer it a long way," Yost said of the Blue Jays. "These guys are really good."
Toronto won its second straight hours after landing former Cy Young Award winner David Price in a deal with Detroit.
Navarro and Price played together for three seasons in Tampa Bay, reaching the World Series in 2008, Price's rookie campaign.
"He knows what it takes," Navarro said of Price. "He's been doing it for a long time. And I think he's going to do nothing but good things for us."
Price was not with the Blue Jays on Thursday but is expected to join them Friday. Toronto has not said when Price will make his first start but Sunday is a possibility.
The left-hander is the second major acquisition of the week by the Blue Jays, who landed shortstop Troy Tulowitzki on Tuesday.
"I thought even before we made the moves we were a good team and we just got better," Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada said.
Estrada (8-6) allowed two runs and three hits in 5 2/3 innings. Estrada left after Lorenzo Cain's two-out single in the sixth ended his run of 15 straight outs. Brett Cecil came on and retired Eric Hosmer.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched the seventh, Aaron Sanchez worked the eighth and Roberto Osuna finished for his sixth save.
Kendrys Morales put the Royals in front with a two-run double in the first inning but Toronto answered in the bottom half on Jose Bautista's sacrifice fly.
Kevin Pillar reached on a bloop single to begin the second and Navarro followed with a drive to left.
Martin extended the lead with a one-out drive in the third and Donaldson made it 5-2 with a second-deck blast in the fourth, his team-high 25th.
Ben Zobrist made his debut with the Royals, batting sixth and starting in left field. Zobrist, who was acquired from Oakland on Tuesday, went 0 for 4, grounding out to end the game.
ORLANDO TO OMAHA
Brazilian rookie OF Paulo Orlando was optioned to Triple A Omaha to make room for Zobrist. Yost said the Royals decided to demote Orlando and keep 3B Cheslor Cuthbert on the roster because Cuthbert has played well at third base, a position Zobrist has not played frequently.
YOUR NUMBER IS UP
Royals first base coach Rusty Kuntz gave up his number 18 to Zobrist, switching to 81. Kuntz also surrendered 18 last season when the Royals traded for Raul Ibanez. Toronto's Justin Smoak switched from 14 to 13 so Price can wear his preferred number.
Royals: OF Alex Gordon (left groin) hit off the tee one day ahead of schedule. Gordon took 20 swings and will do the same Friday.
Blue Jays: 1B Edwin Encarnacion (left middle finger) did not start but was available to pinch hit. ... 2B Devon Travis (left shoulder) was not available after getting a cortisone shot Wednesday.
Royals: RHP Johnny Cueto (7-6, 2.62 ERA) makes his Kansas City debut Friday. Cueto is 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in two previous starts against Toronto.
Blue Jays: RHP Drew Hutchison (9-2, 5.42 ERA) has pitched six innings just once in his past eight outings. He's 7-1 with a 2.21 ERA in nine home starts.