Winning a single game in Kansas City has been difficult for the Toronto Blue Jays in recent years. Posting back-to-back victories at Kauffman Stadium has seemed downright impossible.
The Blue Jays try to win consecutive road games in the same season over the Royals for the first time in almost five years Wednesday night.
Adam Lind(notes) and J.P. Arencibia(notes) each hit two-run homers to help Toronto (31-30) even the four-game set with an 8-5 win over the Royals on Tuesday. It was the Blue Jays’ fourth victory in 12 games at Kansas City, where they have not won two in a row in the same season since July 8-9, 2006.
Lind is 5 for 14 (.357) with three homers and six RBIs in four games since missing a month with a sore lower back. Arencibia, meanwhile, has 10 home runs to rank among rookie leaders.
The right-hander allowed two runs in a season-high 5 1-3 innings of an 8-4 win at Baltimore on Friday to improve to 8-12 with a 4.80 ERA in 30 career starts.
“I’m a little upset that I haven’t been able to go deeper in games,” said Villanueva, who also threw a season-high 90 pitches in his last outing.
Though Villanueva will make his first start against the Royals, he has a 3.38 ERA in two relief appearances versus Kansas City. The latest came in 2007 with Milwaukee.
Kansas City (26-35) has dropped five of six and been outscored 49-31 while going 3-6 on an 11-game homestand.
Though the 22-year-old Duffy has not given up more than three runs in any of his four starts, he’s walked 13 in those outings.
“It’s going to take him 15-20 starts before he starts to get comfortable, sometimes maybe sooner, maybe 10 starts for him,” manager Ned Yost said. “His stuff is really, really good. But at times he gets a little over-amped.”
Eric Hosmer(notes), who had the game-winning hit in Kansas City’s 3-2, 11-inning win Monday, added two hits Tuesday. The highly-touted rookie is batting .410 with nine RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak.
“We keep talking about it; he’s a kid that makes adjustments,” Yost told the Royals’ official website. “He comes in, he knows what he needs to do and makes the adjustments to be successful.”
“It was precautionary to get him out of (the) game,” manager John Ferrell told the Blue Jays’ official website.
Escobar is batting .330 his last 28 games, but is 2 for 17 the last four.