KC Royals snap losing skid behind Cole Ragans’ brilliant start vs. Blue Jays

The Kansas City Royals turned to ace Cole Ragans to snap a three-game losing streak on Tuesday night.

And Ragans delivered in a big way against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The left-hander, who entered the day with a 3.90 ERA, was locked in from the start. He allowed one earned run across seven innings in the Royals’ 4-1 victory.

The Blue Jays flailed against Ragans’ premier fastball. He touched 99.6 mph on the pitching radar and mixed in a changeup and slider among his off-speed pitches.

As a result, Ragans posted nine strikeouts. He navigated a talented Blue Jays lineup and limited them to one hit early.

In the second inning, Toronto outfielder Davis Schneider hit a single to right field. However, he was quickly erased by Hunter Renfroe. The veteran outfielder threw out Schneider attempting to stretch the single into a double.

It was Renfroe’s 67th outfield assist since the 2017 season.

Ragans was in cruise control from that point. In the sixth inning, Ragans ran into slight trouble as the Blue Jays plated one run. However, he worked out of a potential jam by striking out Justin Turner to end the frame.

The Royals provided Ragans with two early runs. Royals second baseman Michael Massey hit a two-run homer off Blue Jays starter Jose Berrios.

Massey blasted an 84.6 mph slurve into the outfield seats. It was his first home run after returning from a low back strain earlier this month.

In the eighth inning, the Royals added two key insurance runs. Bobby Witt Jr. and Vinnie Pasquantino collected RBI doubles to extend the lead to 4-1.

Berrios allowed two earned runs. Instead, the night belonged to Ragans. He earned his second victory as the Royals improved to 18-13.

Missed previous Royals coverage?

Game 1: Royals drop 3rd consecutive game in 6-5 loss to Blue Jays

Split second: How Vinnie Pasquantino prepared for his viral split at first base

Here are more notables from Tuesday’s game:

Calf cramp for Cole Ragans

Ragans left his start in the seventh inning with a left calf cramp.

In the seventh inning, Ragans had just walked consecutive batters. As he stood on the mound, Ragans was met by Royals manager Matt Quatraro, the training staff and teammates. There was a short discussion before Ragans walked to the dugout to conclude his outing.

At that point, Ragans was up to 105 pitches. He left two runners on base as Blue Jays outfielder Cavan Biggio was due at the plate.

Ragans remained in the dugout afterwards. Meanwhile, the Royals turned to reliever John Schreiber for the final out in the frame. He retired Biggio as the Royals maintained a 2-1 lead.

Royals promote Colin Selby from Triple-A

The Kansas City Royals added a fresh arm to the bullpen. On Tuesday, the Royals recalled Colin Selby from Triple-A Omaha.

Selby, 26, was acquired on April 7 from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Royals sent minor league pitcher Connor Oliver back in the deal. Selby will be available as the Royals continue their three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

In a corresponding move, the Royals sent Jonathan Bowlan back to Triple-A. Bowlan made a spot start in Monday’s game in Toronto. He allowed six hits and four runs (three earned) in 2 ⅔ innings.

“We’re excited,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “He’s got a good arm and he has three plus pitches. He needs to execute them in the (strike) zone, but he’s somebody we had our eye on for a while. We were able to acquire him a few weeks back.”

Selby spent seven seasons in the Pirates organization. He posted a 9.00 ERA in 21 appearances during the 2023 campaign.

What’s next on the Royals schedule?

The Royals conclude the three-game series against the Blue Jays. KC will send right-hander Seth Lugo to the mound against Toronto veteran Chris Bassitt.

Lugo owns a 4-1 record through six starts. In his last outing, Lugo threw seven scoreless innings against the Detroit Tigers.