The Royals playoff chances were pretty much already dead coming to Toronto, but I won't deny that there's still a lot of satisfaction for me in seeing the Blue Jays put another nail in the coffin after 2015.
Marcus Stroman was exceptional for the first five innings of this game. His pitches had great movement, his slider in particular was very sharp, and Kansas City couldn't do anything with him. He allowed a couple hits on ground balls in the first couple innings, the latter a weak bouncer that inexplicably got past both Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney for the cheapest of "doubles". He walked a couple batters, but other than it is was pure dominance.
Of the 11 balls in play in those first five innings, nine were on the ground, to go with four strikeouts. Stroman had a clean 6th, but started allowing some better contact. That carried over to the 7th, as the Royals finally got to Stroman with a pair of well struck singles to put runners on the corners with one out. Mike Moustakas squared up another ball but pretty much right at Pillar, which ended up a sac fly. Stroman got a couple bounceouts to end the inning, with a final line of 1 run on 4 hits in 7 innings, 2 walks against 5 strikeouts.
The bad news was that Ian Kennedy was matching Stroman zero for zero as the Jays never had multiple runners on base against him. Goins led off the 6th with a hit, and Barney was order to bunt him over. Two failed attempts later, the count was 0-2. He battled, fouled off a few pitches, and then took a mistake changeup over the fence for a two run home run to put the Jays up 2-0.
After the Royals narrowed it to 2-1, the Jays came back out firing in the 7th against the Royals middle relief. With one out, Kendrys Morales singled and Kevin Pillar doubled to put a pair of runners on base for the first and only time all night. Russell Martin delivered a double to score both, and then scored on a Barney single. That gave the Jays some much needed breathing room.
Good thing too, because Ryan Tepera did not deliver his best work out of the pen. Alex Gordon greeted him rudely with a home run. He gave up a single too, though erased it on a double play. Roberto Osuna got a low pressure save situation, and looked as good as he had in a while with a clean 9th (two strikeouts).
Jays of the Day: Stroman (+0.334), Barney (0.293).
Suckage: The person who signed up to this recap and then didn't bother. Also Teoscar Hernandez (-0.115, 3K)
Tomorrow, the scheduled starters are Jakob Junis and Brett Anderson, same time and place. Same recapper too - except tomorrow I'm actually supposed to do it so it won't be thrown together right before I (was about to) go to sleep and realized someone didn't bother.