Merrifield walk-off double caps four-run ninth for Royals

Posted June 25, 2017

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told reporters that closer Roberto Osuna was not feeling well and "that's all you need to know", after the Jays' 5-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Friday. Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ limited the Royals to four hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings while striking out five and walking none. The Blue Jays scored two runs on one hit, a hit batter and a wild pitch in the fourth inning.

Eric Hosmer homered, his ninth, to start the fourth inning and put Kansas City up a run. He hit Kendrys Morales to lead off the inning, then gave up an RBI double to Troy Tulowitzki, with the ex-Royal Morales scoring from first. On Ryan Tepera's wild pitch, Salvador Perez to third. But a ten-pitch at bat is tiring and Tepera's next two pitches showed it. Happ struggled in a recent return from injury but dominated in the Blue Jays' 4-0 win in Seattle as +142 underdogs on June 11, and followed up by scattering three earned runs over 6.2 innings in a 7-3 win over the Chicago White Sox as -210 home chalk last Sunday.

Coming into Friday night, Toronto's left fielder Dwight Smith Jr., had played a total of 10 games in the big leagues.

High fly balls aren't a problem: the ball clears the upper deck and the outfielder has a dark sky in the background, but low line drives are a different story.

The admission was the latest bombshell to hit the Jays and a development that came as a surprise given Osuna's stellar work of late, a run of 18 consecutive successful saves, the longest active streak in the major leagues. In addition, his 66 runs scored during 2012 are the second most in a single season by a Flame. The Royals shortstop hit a flare into right center, it dropped, Perez scored and suddenly the tying run was on first base and the winning run was at the plate. Pitchers tend to throw first-pitch fastballs to get ahead and smart hitters look for them. Junis hit Morales with a pitch to start the inning. Brandon Moss strikes out swinging. Vargas has been one of KC's best arms. Alex Gordon scores. Alcides Escobar scores.

In the last series encounter which dates back to August 2016, the Jays won the first game while the Royals captured the last two in Kauffman Stadium. I wish I knew how to get out of this. Ian Parmley, in right field, a rookie just into double-digit games in left, Jose Bautista at DH (after 36 straight starts in that aforementioned right) and Justin Smoak on furlough (until summoned as a defensive replacement in the eighth), Toronto seemed in commanding control.