Jays score seven in first, rout Royals

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Juan Francisco recorded four RBIs as the Toronto Blue Jays exploded for seven runs in the first inning en route to a 12-2 triumph over the Kansas City Royals Saturday at Rogers Centre.

Brett Lawrie drove in three runs while Adam Lind added two RBIs as the Blue Jays (33-24) set a club record by having their first eight batters reach base to start the game.

After scoring seven in the first, the Blue Jays added three in the fourth as they took the third game of a four-game series against the Royals, who took the first two games of the series.

The Royals snapped Toronto’s nine-game win streak Thursday before holding the Blue Jays’ offense to a run Friday.

With the Blue Jays’ offense clicking, Marcus Stroman (2-0) won his first career start Saturday after being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo earlier in the day.

The 23-year-old right-hander pitched six innings and allowed one earned run on five hits with six strikeouts. He pitched 6 1/3 innings out of the bullpen earlier this season during his first stint with the Blue Jays.

Kansas City (26-29) starter Aaron Brooks (0-1) was shelled in the loss, lasting just 2/3 frames with seven earned runs on five hits with three walks.

The 24-year-old Brooks was relieved by Michael Mariot, who didn’t fare much better, as he allowed six hits and four earned runs over 3 1/3 innings.

Stroman cruised through the early innings, with the only bump coming in the second, when he gave up three hits and allowed a run.

But otherwise, the Blue Jays’ prospect was sound, recording perfect innings in the first and third while getting his mix of flyouts, groundouts and strikeouts along the way.

The Blue Jays’ offense, meanwhile, came back to life after being limited to one run and eight hits in a loss the night before.

The opening inning consisted of 12 plate appearances of varying degrees of offense for the Blue Jays. That included two hit batters, three walks, three singles, a double, and a ground-rule double.

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