The Kansas City Royals felt the wrath of two former MLB All-Stars on Saturday afternoon.
Kevin Gausman and George Springer propelled the Toronto Blue Jays to a 5-1 victory during Harry Potter Day at the Rogers Centre.
Gausman shut down the Royals for eight innings. He allowed two hits, one run and struck out 10 batters. Meanwhile, Springer piloted the Blue Jays’ offense with two home runs and four RBIs.
Springer finished 3 for 4 on the night. It was his first multi-home run game this season and the 21st of his career.
“He was the difference,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “Four of the five RBIs. He is a dynamic player and has been for a long time.”
Toronto jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. Springer hit a leadoff home run off Royals veteran Zack Greinke. It was Springer’s 18th home run of the year, and he later added a two-run single in the fifth inning.
Greinke allowed six hits and four runs in 3 2/3 innings. He issued one walk and struck out four batters.
“I felt good and just made a couple of mistakes,” Greinke said. “It didn’t work out overall. Probably the biggest mistakes were I threw a fastball down the middle to Vlad (Vladimir Guerrero Jr.) and a fastball down the middle to (Cavan) Biggio. Besides that I felt all right, and they did a good job.”
The Royals quickly answered Springer’s homer. Royals outfielder Edward Olivares tied the game with his own solo shot. Olivares finished 1 for 3 in the game.
But KC struggled to mount any more offense. Royals outfielder Drew Waters doubled in the fifth inning, but that was it for the rest of the day.
“That tied the game for us and we were back in it,” Quatraro said. “Then, Drew gets the double and you’ve got a chance to take the lead right there. He did a good job of shutting it down.”
In the eighth inning, Gausman punctuated the victory by striking out the side. He earned his 11th victory of the season.
Greinke took the loss as the Royals fell to 44-99. On a special note, Royals captain Salvador Perez became the first catcher in franchise history to catch 10,000 career innings.
Missed previous Royals coverage?
Here are more notables from Saturday’s game:
Edward Olivares stays hot since Triple-A return
The Royals recorded two hits against the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon. Olivares, who returned from Triple-A in early September, put the Royals on the board with his 10th home run of the season.
Olivares hit an 83.3 mph slider that was left over the plate. The blast traveled 431 feet as the Royals tied the game in the fifth inning.
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) September 9, 2023
“I was first-pitch swinging,” Olivares said. “My mindset was to be ready for the fastball. Then he threw me a slider and I recognized it and put a good swing (on the baseball).”
Olivares has hit four home runs since his return from Triple-A Omaha. He entered Saturday’s game with a .462 batting average during that span.
“I have been working hard on my timing and my approach,” Olivares said.
James McArthur pitches two scoreless innings in start
The Royals utilized an opener for Greinke on Saturday. Royals reliever James McArthur made the start and retired all six batters he faced.
McArthur, who was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies, recorded one strikeout in his two-inning stint. He caught Blue Jays second baseman Davis Schneider looking to begin the second inning.
“I felt pretty good,” McArthur said. “I just tried to go out there and execute pitches. Treat it like coming out of the bullpen in the first inning. Then, I tried to eat up some quick outs and put up zeroes.”
The Blue Jays produced five groundouts. McArthur threw 23 pitches and got six called strikes in his outing.
“He threw the ball really well,” Quatraro said. “(It was) a five- or six-pitch first (inning). He was able to locate when he had to and had good sink on his fastball. It was exactly what we wanted.”
What’s next: The Royals conclude their three-game series against the Blue Jays. Cole Ragans, the reigning AL Pitcher of the Month for August, will start for KC on Sunday afternoon.