Poor K.C. Royals
YOUR MONDAY AFTERNOON BLUE JAYS
Shannon Stewart LF
Joe Inglett 2B
Alex Rios CF
Scott Rolen 3B
Matt Stairs DH
Lyle Overbay 1B
Marco Scutaro SS
Brad Wilkerson RF
Gregg Zaun C
Shaun Marcum P
Aaron Hill, who’d played 50 of the previous 52, was getting a break. Oh, right, and they just scored four runs in the second for a 4-zip lead on those poor K.C. Royals. The K.C.s have lost seven straight, scoring all of two runs Friday-through-Sunday.
For the Jays, it’ll get tougher after this, of course, as they head out for their second extended road-trip in two weeks. This one goes Oakland, Anaheim and, finally, New York. The A’s, who just swept the Red Sox out there, also swept the Jays here in early April – 9-8, 6-3 and 3-2.
Jays’ last trip didn’t go so badly, though – 6-4 overall after that insane 0-3 start in Cleveland. That makes them 10-3 for their last 13. Also, another win today – as the Jays’ crack research department so nicely turned up – will give them their second four-game sweep of the season. No, that’s not what the research uncovered. But, last time they did that twice in the same season was 1991, when the Indians played foils both times. This year’s, now, juggernaut, took the White Sox four here at the beginning of the month.
That four-run second today? A Rolen lead-off double, one-out run-scoring single by Overbay, single by Scutaro, Wilkerson sac fly, Zaun homer. We’re thinking Marcum can make this stand up.
Okay, so Marcum lasted into the eighth, one down, two aboard, Jays now cruising 7-2. Jesse Carlson in to shut the Royals down.
Oop, Mark Teahen single to centre but, for the second straight game, Alex Rios cuts down a runner at the plate with a one-hop strike to the plate. Carlson’s day is done in favour of Jason Frasor. Frase gets out of the inning.
Royals had got both their runs in the sixth without benefit of a hit. Marcum, who plunked his second-last batter of the fifth, plunked his first two here. Then he went and got two double-play balls, neither of which the Jays could turn. Marcum, himself, messed up the first of these when he couldn’t find the bag with his foot on the relay. So, one came in on a Joe Inglett misfire on the second potential double-play, another on a sac fly.
Jays had expanded on their four-run splurge in the second with a two-run Alex Rios double in the fifth; a Marco Scutaro solo in the sixth.
It’s good to be a juggernaut.
Well, this will make for a relatively pleasant flight to the left coast. Behind yet another solid outing from Marcum (5-3) and homers by Zaun and Scutaro, Jays whipped K.C. 7-2 this Monday afternoon to cap a four-game sweep of the Royals.
Jays’ fifth straight win pushed them a season-high three games over .500 (28-25) as they head out for three in each of Oakland, Anaheim and, finally, Yankee Stadium.
“We’re starting to get the offensive swagger you definitely need to win in this game,” said Hill, who got the matinee off. “We’re happy, we’re loose and we’re playing well.”