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Blues Jays see real Dickey in win over Royals

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- After two mediocre starts, R.A. Dickey pitched like the Toronto Blue Jays expected him to pitch Saturday night.

Dickey gave up one run in 6 1-3 innings and Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer as the Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2.

Dickey, the 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner with the New York Mets, was 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA in his first two Blue Jays starts. But on Saturday, he gave up five hits, walked two and struck out four to pick up the victory.

"Our starter was very good tonight, as advertised," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He was getting up there in pitches. He battled all night long. He had a great outing. We had (Darren) Oliver ready to go for the left-handers. We wanted it end on a good note. We didn't want them to chip away and all of a sudden. His first two games were a little bit rough."

The Blue Jays managed just two hits off Royals starter James Shields, but the big one was Bautista's home run to left in the sixth inning with Munenori Kawasaki, who had walked, aboard. Bautista, who had four career home runs off Shields, drilled a 2-1 pitch landed above the Royals' left-field bullpen.

"Shields was fantastic," Gibbons said. "He's been a nemesis for this team for years. He goes all nine and only gives up two hits. That speaks volumes for him. That's what he's capable of doing."

Dickey was removed after Jarrod Dyson doubled to left on his 100th pitch. Darren Oliver replaced Dickey and Dyson stole third and scored on Chris Getz's bunt single.

Shields went the distance, throwing 115 pitches, striking out six and walking three, while suffering the loss.

"That can happen when you're facing Dickey," Shields said. "He was pretty good. I made two bad mistakes that costs us tonight. The pitch to Bautista I was trying to get the ball down and it stayed up, and the leadoff walk. That's not acceptable, walking the leadoff hitter.

"I know them pretty well. They're a good hitting team and if you make mistakes they're going to hurt you. It was a good battle with Dickey and, unfortunately, he won it."

Casey Janssen gave up a run in the ninth when Alex Gordon's two-out single scored Chris Getz, who had three hits, but picked up the save.

"He (Dickey) had struggled his prior two starts but his knuckler was really good tonight," Getz said. "I wasn't really comfortable at-bat against him. I hadn't seen him for a few years. I think the last time he was with Minnesota and it was about 15 degrees in Chicago. He changes speeds with the knuckleball. When you get to two strikes with him it's a battle. He's not afraid to throw the fastball."

Macier Izturis started the Blue Jays' third with a double to right, advanced to third on Henry Blanco's ground out and scored on Munenori Kawasaki's sacrifice fly to right. Izturis just beat the throw of Jeff Francoeur, who led the majors with 19 outfield assists last year. Kawasaki had just seven RBIs as a rookie last season with Seattle.

Izturis' double was the only hit the Blue Jays collected in the first five innings off Royals right-hander James Shields, who was acquired in a December seven-player megadeal with Tampa Bay.

The Royals threatened in the second when Billy Butler walked with two outs and stopped at third on Salvador Perez's double over the head of right fielder Emilo Bonifacio, who misplayed it initially by coming in. Dickey got out of the jam by retiring Lorenzo Cain on a liner to Izturis.

Gordon led off the Royals' third with a broken-bat single to left, but was quickly erased when Alcides Escobar grounded into a double play.

Getz doubled down the right-field line with one out in the bottom of the fifth and moved to third on Gordon's ground out, but was stranded there on Escobar's comebacker.

NOTES: A MRI exam revealed Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes has a severe left ankle sprain and is expected to be out three months. The Jays will take another MRI in 5-6 days after the swelling subsides to make sure there is no more damage. Reyes, who injured the ankle Friday while stealing second base, went on the disabled list. ... The Rays purchased the contract of Kawasaki from Class AAA Buffalo. Kawasaki, who started at shortstop and batted ninth, hit .192 in 61 games last season with Seattle. ... First baseman Eric Hosmer was held out of the Royals lineup for the second straight game with tightness in his right quad. ... After starting the season batting cleanup, third baseman Mike Moustakas has been dropped to sixth. Moustakas is 1-for-17 in the first five games of this homestand. ... Bonifacio replaced Reyes at the top of the Blue Jays batting order. He started in right field for the first time since 2011. Bautista started at third base for the first time since Aug. 4 2011. "It's a juggling act right now, but it's what we've got to do," Gibbons said of his lineup. "It's kind of an experiment right now."
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