Chen Wins 4th Straight, Royals Beat Blue Jays
TORONTO (AP) - Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler homered, Bruce Chen won four consecutive starts for the first time in his career and the Kansas City Royals beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 on Tuesday night.
Jeff Francoeur matched his career high with four hits as the Royals, who had lost six of seven away from home, opened a 10-game, 10-day road trip on a winning note.
Chen (9-5) improved to 4-1 with a 3.68 ERA in five August starts. The left-hander allowed three runs and four hits in 7 2-3 innings. He walked one and tied a career best nine strikeouts.
Chen was perfect through three innings before Yunel Escobar singled to open the fourth, snapping an 0-for-17 slump.
Greg Holland replaced Chen after Mike McCoy drew a two-out walk in the eighth. McCoy stole second but Holland got Escobar to ground out.
Joakim Soria gave up an RBI single to Adam Lind in the ninth but finished for his 23rd save in 30 opportunities.
Kansas City came in having lost seven of nine overall and 21 of its previous 28 in Toronto but jumped on Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow with a three-run, four-hit second.
Hosmer led off with a homer to center, his 11th and first since July 27 at Boston. Francoeur doubled and Johnny Giavotella followed with an RBI single to center, advancing to second on Colby Rasmus' fielding error. Salvador Perez capped the rally with an RBI single.
The Royals chased Morrow in the fifth, scoring three more runs. Butler hit a one-out homer to left, his 16th. Hosmer singled, stole second and scored on Giavotella's double. Perez ended Morrow's night with an RBI triple to right.
Morrow (9-8) lost for the third time in four starts, allowing six runs and a season-high 11 hits in 4 2-3 innings. He walked one and struck out five.
Escobar had the only big hit of the night against Chen, a three-run homer to center in the sixth, his 11th. Chen responded by setting down the next seven batters in order.
Blue Jays right-hander Joel Carreno made his major league debut in the sixth and worked 3 1-3 scoreless innings.