How the Royals changed their mojo from losing skid: Bobby Witt Jr. & some new socks

The Kansas City Royals needed an offensive spark. And if their last three games were any indication, the Royals needed it fast.

The Toronto Blue Jays, who gave the Royals their third straight loss in Monday’s series opener, thwarted the Royals lineup once again on Tuesday … at least for four innings.

KC finally broke through in the fifth: Bobby Witt Jr. led the charge with a two-run double as the Royals pulled off a 3-2 comeback victory.

And the Royals did it sporting a slightly different look — high socks.

“Just to change up the mojo (with) the last three games in a row,” Witt said. “You know, just change it up a little bit.”

Change can be a good thing. Witt altered Tuesday’s outlook by igniting the offense with a well-placed line drive.

Kyle Isbel, who reached on a fielding error, and Maikel Garcia came around to score.

Kansas City Royals third base Maikel Garcia (11) scored a run against Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk (30) during the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium on April 23, 2024, in Kansas City, Missouri.
Kansas City Royals third base Maikel Garcia (11) scored a run against Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk (30) during the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium on April 23, 2024, in Kansas City, Missouri.

As a result, Witt collected his 15th extra-base hit this season, as the Royals took a late lead.

“We know what our pitching staff can do and what are bullpen does,” Witt said. “We know if we keep grinding, taking it day by day and putting together good at-bats, we are going to have a lot of success.”

KC recorded eight hits against the Blue Jays. Witt finished 3-for-4 and continued his torrid pace this season. He now owns a .316 batting average.

“It’s a freak play as (Isiah) Kiner-Falefa made a really great play to get to that ball,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “And then, Vladdy (Vladimir Guerrero Jr.) dropped it. You are not going to count on that happening often.

“But, we kept the ball in play. After that, Isbel is running and Maikel gets him first to third. Bobby comes up with the big hit.”

Toronto ace Kevin Gausman took the loss on Tuesday. The former All-Star was charged with all three runs in the outing. Gausman struck out two batters and issued a walk in 6 ⅔ innings.

Royals starter Michael Wacha didn’t have his best stuff. He allowed eight hits and two runs in 4 ⅓ innings of work.

“It was a grinder for sure,” Wacha said. “It felt like they were able to extend ABs with foul balls and taking close pitches. They were able to find the holes whenever they did put it in play. ... I was excited to get out of some of those innings just limiting the damage.”

Blue Jays duo Justin Turner and Alejandro Kirk recorded RBI singles. But the Royals bullpen shut the door late. James McArthur picked up his fifth save as KC improved to 14-10.

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Here are more notables from Tuesday’s game:

Michael Wacha fights through tough start

Wacha kept the Royals in striking distance on Tuesday. He allowed two runs despite issuing three walks in his start.

“I just tried to get as deep as I could even with the high pitch count,” Wacha said. “The bullpen came in there and picked me up in a big way.”

The Blue Jays pestered Wacha with soft contact. Wacha surrendered seven singles against the Blue Jays lineup. George Springer started the game with a leadoff single. He finished 3-for-5 on the night.

Turner added two hits on the ledger. However, Wacha was able to steady the ship. He threw 96 pitches and registered 40 swings and seven whiffs.

“That was the epitome of a battle,” Quatraro said. “They made him throw a lot of pitches. He pitched them tough.”

Wacha owns a 3.81 ERA in five starts this season.

Up next on the KC Royals schedule

The Royals continue their four-game series against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

Alec Marsh is slated to make his fifth start opposite Blue Jays hurler Yariel Rodriguez at Kauffman Stadium. Rodriguez has a 2.35 ERA in two starts.

Marsh is 3-0 with a 3.22 ERA this season. In his last start, Marsh pitched 5 ⅔ scoreless innings against the Baltimore Orioles.

The Blue Jays have won eight of the last nine meetings against the Royals. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. Central on Wednesday.