Alejandro Kirk hit a tiebreaking, two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth and the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the visiting Kansas City Royals 4-2 Sunday afternoon.
Kirk’s 11th homer of the season came after Vladimir Guerrero Jr. led off with a bloop single against reliever Wyatt Mills (0-1). Guererro went 2-for-4 with two runs.
Jordan Romano pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 20th save for Toronto.
The Blue Jays took three of four games from the undermanned Royals, who had to call up several players from the minors for the series. Kansas City played the series without 10 roster players who did not meet Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements.
The Blue Jays completed a 5-1 homestand after returning from a 1-6 road trip. Toronto is 4-1 under interim manager John Schneider, who replaced the fired Charlie Montoyo on Wednesday.
Nick Pratto hit a solo home run among his two hits for Kansas City.
Royals left-hander Kris Bubic allowed two unearned runs and five hits with four strikeouts in seven innings in a hard-luck no-decision.
Toronto right-hander Jose Berrios allowed two runs, seven hits and one walk while striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings.
The Royals scored once in the first inning on singles by Nicky Lopez, Vinnie Pasquantino and Edward Olivares.
Pratto led off the second inning with his first career major-league home run, giving the Royals an early 2-0 lead.
Bubic pitched around a pair of two-out singles in the bottom of the second.
Toronto tied the game in the bottom of the third. Both Santiago Espinal and Guerrero had infield hits to third base with one out. One run scored when Bobby Witt Jr. committed an error on Kirk’s grounder to shortstop. Bo Bichette followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-2.
Ryan O’Hearn walked to lead off the seventh for Kansas City. Pinch runner Brewer Hicklen took second on Pratto’s single. Tim Mayza (3-0) replaced Berrios and induced a foulout from Michael Massey before Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen picked Pratto off at first to end the inning.
After Matt Chapman doubled in the fourth inning, Bubic retired 10 straight batters before he hit Bradley Zimmer with a pitch with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. But Bubic ended the inning on a flyout by Espinal.
–Field Level Media