May 16: Toronto 8, Kansas City 5
Mark Gubicza had one of those starts where it took him a handful of batters to find his stuff. The first four Toronto batters went double, walk, single, and homer. Gubicza settled in after that and didn’t allow any more between the second and sixth innings. His batsmen battled back to claim the lead in the top of the seventh, spurned on by George Brett’s second double of the day.
In the bottom of the seventh, Gubicza got his first man, but then walked two straight, which ended his day. Ned Yost called on Dan Quisenberry, hoping for a double play. His plan worked to perfection as Fred McGriff rolled one to Frank White, but White made a rare blunder and threw the ball wildly into left field. The Blue Jays didn’t score on the play, but it loaded the bases with just one out. Next up, Edwin Encarnacion very much did not hit a double play ball, but instead a towering grand slam for his second dinger of the day. Dave Stieb went the distance for Toronto.
R H BB KC 010 020 200 - 5 12 3 TOR 400 000 40x - 8 6 3 HR: E. Encarnacion-2 (4) starters IP R ER HR BB SO M. Gubicza 6.1 6 6 1 3 4 D. Stieb 9.0 5 4 0 3 3 KC 18-21, TOR 16-21
May 17: Kansas City 8, Toronto 4
The Royal bats came alive the next day against lefty Jimmy Key. Every KC batter had a hit, including two singles and a double from Alcides Escobar. Kelly Gruber had a nice three hit day with a triple for Toronto. His triple came with one out in the seventh, at which point Kelvin Herrera relieved Danny Jackson and whiffed the next two Blue Jays to strand Gruber.
R H BB KC 130 020 101 - 8 14 2 TOR 000 120 010 - 4 10 4 HR: D. Tartabull (4), C. Delgado (8) starters IP R ER HR BB SO D. Jackson 6.1 3 3 1 3 4 J. Key 5.0 6 5 1 1 3 KC 19-21, TOR 16-22
May 18: Toronto 6, Kansas City 1
Kevin Appier and Juan Guzman are having mirror image seasons. Appier started off strong but pitched his second straight stinker in this one, while Guzman had perhaps the worst start in the league but threw his second straight excellent game. A solo tater by Tartabull was all the scoring the Royals could muster against Guzman. Carlos Delgado and Lloyd Moseby both teed off on Appier to help Toronto score five in Appier’s first three innings.
Next up, the teams travel to Kansas City to play the second half of a home-and-home series.
R H BB KC 000 100 000 - 1 8 3 TOR 122 001 00x - 6 12 2 HR: D. Tartabull (5), C. Delgado (9), L. Moseby (5) starters IP R ER HR BB SO K. Appier 5.1 6 6 2 2 1 J. Guzman 9.0 1 1 1 3 8 KC 19-22, TOR 17-22