Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – James Shields tossed seven shutout innings while Eric Hosmer drove in three runs as the Kansas City Royals avoided a three-game sweep with a 5-0 blanking of the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday at Rogers Centre.
Shields matched a season high with nine strikeouts, while walking one and allowing just three hits to improve to 10-8 — the seventh consecutive season he has amassed a double-digit win total.
The Royals ace also continued his dominance on the road as he improved to 7-0 over his last eight starts away from home. He lowered his ERA to 2.11 on the road, which leads the American League.
With the victory, the Royals (70-66) concluded their six-game road trip with a 4-2 record. The club will begin a seven-game homestand Monday against the Seattle Mariners.
Starter J.A. Happ (3-5) gave up five runs – three earned — on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts in four innings as the Blue Jays slipped to 62-75.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the second, the Royals pounded Happ with four runs in the third inning with Alex Gordon and Emilio Bonifacio hitting back-to-back RBI singles. Hosmer delivered the final blow of the inning with a two-run single to put Kansas City up, 5-0.
Shields, for his part, retired the first 11 batters of the game before Edwin Encarnacion’s two-out single in the fourth gave the Blue Jays their first baserunner of the contest.
Shields followed that up by walking Adam Lind to put two runners aboard for Brett Lawrie, but got Toronto’s third baseman to ground out to end the inning.
Toronto managed only one extra-base hit off Shields, a one-out triple by Rajai Davis in the fifth. However, Shields left him stranded after striking out Anthony Gose and Kevin Pillar.
Kansas City continued its assault on the basepaths, swiping four bases against the Blue Jays to up its Major League-leading total to 126. Bonifacio and Jarrod Dyson stole two bases apiece.