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Blue Jays walk away with win over Royals

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- Knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey had a fleeting moment of empathy as he watched Kansas City Royals reliever Aaron Crow walk two batters with the bases loaded in the eighth inning on Saturday.

"You certainly can relate to losing the feel for a minute or two, but I wasn't going to frown too long about it, that's for sure," Dickey said.

Crow walked Brett Lawrie and Rajai Davis with the bases full on eight straight pitches to cap the Blue Jays' three-run eighth as they came back to defeat the Kansas Royals 4-2.

All three runs were unearned because of an error by shortstop Alcides Escobar.

Dickey (11-12), who pitched eight innings, earned his second win in a row and the Blue Jays (62-74) won their third straight, including the first two games of the three-game series with the Royals (69-66).

"I just lost command of the strike zone, which in that situation really can't happen," Crow said. "Throwing eight straight balls, it's a terrible way to lose a game."

"I was telling someone in the dugout it's such a helpless feeling," Dickey said. "You have a moment of empathy."

Royals manager Ned Yost was ejected for the first time this season after the second walk as he came out to replace Crow.

"Crow finally throws a strike and it gets called a ball," Yost said. "A strike is a strike, you deserve another opportunity to throw another pitch and see if we can keep the game at one. Granted, I understand he'd thrown seven balls in a row up to that point, but when you throw a strike, you get another opportunity on a 3-0 count. I'd just seen enough."

Dickey allowed seven hits and two runs over eight innings to earn his second win in a row. The knuckleball pitcher allowed two walks and had six strikeouts.

Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie allowed eight hits but only one run as he was helped by three outfield assists. He did not give up a walk and struck out four.

Right-hander Kelvin Herrera (5-7) took over from Guthrie in the eighth and allowed a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Munenori Kawasaki.

Jose Reyes looped a single to center with one out to move Kawasaki to second and bring in left-hander Will Smith. Kawasaki came around to score the tying run on an error by Escobar on a sharply hit drive by Ryan Goins with Reyes moving to second.

"The shortstop said Kawasaki blocked him," Goins said. "It's a good thing he was standing there or it was probably an easy double play."

"He got screened off on that ball," Yost said. "The runner totally blocked him. By the time the ball got by the runner, it was on him. He didn't see the ball until -- boom! -- right at the last second. He makes that play with a clear line of sight."

"I didn't see the ball," Escobar said. "I saw the ball too late and the ball beat me; that's it. I make that play all the time."

Edwin Encarnacion walked to load the bases. Crow came in to strike out pinch-hitter Mark DeRosa. But he walked Lawrie and Davis to push in two runs.

Casey Janssen pitched the ninth for his 26th save. He hit David Lough with a pitch to lead off the inning and gave up a single to pinch-hitter George Kottaras with one out to put runners at the corners. But then he struck out Alex Gordon, and pinch-runner Chris Getz was caught stealing to end the game.

"Not too often," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said when asked how many times he has had a game end on a guy caught stealing. "J.P. came in (for starting catcher Josh Thole) and did a great job. Casey is quick enough the plate where he can equalize that somewhat, but the catcher's got to make a play."

The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a one-out walk by Salvador Perez and two-out singles by Jarrod Dyson and Escobar.

They took a 2-0 lead in the third on a triple to right-center by former Blue Jay Emilio Bonifacio and a single to left by Eric Hosmer.

The Blue Jays scored a run in the seventh on a two-out double to left-center by Davis, who scored on a single to left by Thole, who was out trying for a double.

The Blue Jays were also thrown out on the bases twice in the first three innings. Goins was out trying to go first to third on a single to left by Encarnacion in the first, and Reyes was out trying for a double on a hit to right in the third.

NOTES: A single in the first inning gave Goins a hit in each of his first eight major-league games. It equals the longest hitting streak to open a major-league career by a Blue Jays rookie, set by RF Jesse Barfield in 1981. ... Hosmer's first hit of the game, single in the first, extended his hit streak to four games. ... Encarnacion's second hit of the game, a single in the fourth, was No. 1,000 in his career. ... Gordon singled in the seventh and has a seven-game hitting streak. He also had two outfield assists equaling his career high, done four previous times. ... RHP James Shields (9-8, 3.14 ERA) will start the series finale on Sunday against LHP J.A. Happ (3-4, 5.46 ERA). ... Attendance at Rogers Centre was 34,315.

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