KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Yordano Ventura was not at his best, but good enough to end a personal losing drought.
Ventura pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Kendrys Morales hit a grand slam, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-1 Sunday.
The Blue Jays had four hits and two walks in the first four innings, but wound up stranding eight men and went 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position.
Morales’ third career grand slam and his first since July 30, 2012, while with the Los Angeles Angels came off left-hander Brett Cecil with two out in the eighth to break the game open. Raul Mondesi, Alcides Escobar and Cheslor Cuthbert led off the inning with singles. It appeared Toronto might escape unharmed after Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer struck out, but Morales hit Cecil’s first pitch out to straight-away center.
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman (8-5) allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings. He threw 95 pitches before being replaced by Scott Feldman.
Drew Butera and Mondesi delivered run-producing singles in the second. Butera cracked his bat on his hit to bring home Alex Gordon, while Mondesi’s bunt single scored Paulo Orlando, who logged his fourth straight multi-hit game.
“They’re a dynamic team with their speed,” Stroman said. “They don’t have to beat you with homers. They’re looking to move the ball, move guys. Very fast and they put the ball in play.
Escobar homered — only his second of the season — to lead off the fifth.
Kansas City is now 53-58 and 10 games back in the AL Central. After a day off Monday, Edinson Volquez will start Tuesday against the White Sox.