July 8: Kansas City 7, Toronto 6
The Royals and Blue Jays split their 12 matches in the first half and also finished with identical 39-42 records atop the Expansion Division. Their second halves began with a four-game set in Kansas City.
Toronto jumped on Kevin Appier for four runs in the first two innings. Appier has a tough time with lefties to begin with, and the Toronto lineup stacks a ton of intimidating lefty bats whenever they face a right-handed starter. It all added up to a short, rough outing for Appier, but the KC bats started getting to Roy Halladay in the third inning. Willie Wilson, John Mayberry, Mike Sweeney, and Hal McRae all rapped hits in the inning to get within a run of Toronto.
Lefty Bud Black, KC’s longman, was stellar for five shutout innings, allowing the Royals to scratch their way to a 5-5 tie in the seventh inning. In the eighth, Frank White put them up by a run with his third homer of the year, and Greg Holland came in to slam the door in the top of the ninth. But pinch-hitting Shannon Stewart led off with a single, Tony Fernandez singled him to third, and Stewart came home to tie the game on a double play grounder.
The Royals wasted no time responding. Mayberry led off the bottom of the ninth with a single, Sweeney singled him over, and McRae singled Mayberry in for the walk-off win.
R H BB TOR 130 100 001 - 6 12 1 KC 003 100 111 - 7 14 2 HR: F. White (3) starters IP R ER HR BB SO R. Halladay 7.0 5 5 0 2 5 K. Appier 3.0 5 5 0 1 2 TOR 39-43, KC 40-42
July 9: Kansas City 11, Toronto 4
Danny Tartabull crushed a three-run job in the first inning, and then all hell broke loose for Toronto in the bottom of the third. The Blue Jays fielders made THREE errors in the inning as six Royals batters paraded around the bases.
R H BB TOR 000 200 020 - 4 6 4 KC 316 000 10x - 11 14 3 HR: C. Delgado (17), S. Green (15), D. Tartabull (15) starters IP R ER HR BB SO J. Key 2.0 10 4 1 0 0 B. Saberhagen 6.0 2 2 1 3 5 TOR 39-44, KC 41-42
July 10: Kansas City 6, Toronto 5 (11 innings)
Like game one, the teams played a close, back-and-forth affair in game three. Tartabull hit a three-run bomb in the first inning for the second straight game, but Toronto came back to take the lead in the fourth inning by singling Danny Jackson in to submission.
A Willie Wilson double and George Brett triple tied it back up in the fifth, and then KC took a one-run lead in the seventh on a Brett double and Tartabull single.
Wade Davis came on to close the door in the ninth this time, but just like Holland in game one, couldn’t quite do it. Roberto Alomar singled, Stewart singled him to third, and Alomar came home to tie it on a Jose Bautista sac fly.
It stayed dead-locked until the bottom of the 11th. Wilson singled and stole second, and Brett knocked his third extra-base hit of the day with a game-ending RBI double. Wilson, Brett, and Tartabull each collected three hits in the game.
R H BB TOR 000 400 001 00 - 6 12 2 KC 300 010 100 01 - 7 13 2 HR: D. Tartabull (16) starters IP R ER HR BB SO D. Alexander 6.2 5 2 1 2 6 D. Jackson 6.0 4 4 0 2 4 TOR 39-45, KC 42-42
July 11: Kansas City 11, Toronto 6
Toronto rang up a 4-0 lead in the top of the third, but the tenacious Royals stormed right back to tie it in the bottom of the inning. Kevin Seitzer slapped an RBI single and Alex Gordon crushed a three-run bomb. The Royals took a two-run lead in the fifth, but an Edward Encarnacion homer tied it right back up in the top of the sixth.
The Royals ran away with it in the seventh and eighth though as Dave Stieb and Duane Ward struggled for Toronto. Gordon had a perfect day at the plate with a walk, two singles, a double, and a homer, and he collected seven RBI to lead the Royals to an impressive sweep that created a little separation for them at the top spot in the division.
Willie Wilson extended his streak of multi-hit games to eight.
R H BB TOR 103 002 000 - 6 9 3 KC 004 020 23x - 11 14 6 HR: E. Encarnacion (8), A. Gordon (4) starters IP R ER HR BB SO D. Stieb 6.1 8 8 1 3 1 M. Gubicza 5.0 6 4 1 2 1 TOR 39-46, KC 43-42