Dormant for most of the season, the Kansas City Royals ' offense is starting to come to life.
The visiting Royals look to build on their highest-scoring game of the year Tuesday night when they face the Toronto Blue Jays' Brett Cecil , who was knocked around in his last outing.
Kansas City (36-42) snapped a three-game losing streak by matching a season best with 14 hits in an 11-3 win in Monday's series opener. Mike Moustakas hit his first career grand slam and finished with a career-best five RBIs, while Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer for the Royals, who were swept in four straight by the Blue Jays (40-40) at home in April.
"Our offense just went out there and did what we know what we can do," Moustakas said.
Kansas City's offense has been doing a lot of this lately, scoring at least eight runs five times in the last nine games. Prior to this surge, the Royals ranked last in the AL in runs and had reached the eight-run mark four times.
Moustakas was batting .196 with five RBIs over a 12-game stretch before Monday's performance, and he could be poised for another big game. He is 8 for 16 with a homer, two doubles and seven RBIs in four contests at Rogers Centre.
"This place is awesome to hit," Moustakas said.
He'll also be going up against Cecil (1-1, 6.06 ERA), who is 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA in two career starts against the Royals.
The left-hander was tagged for eight runs and 10 hits over 5 1-3 innings by the potent Los Angeles Angels in Thursday's 9-7 loss, after allowing three runs over 11 innings in his first two starts against struggling NL teams - Philadelphia and Miami.
Vin Mazzaro (3-2, 4.74) counters for Kansas City in his first start since June 22. The right-hander was roughed up for seven runs and six hits in 1 1-3 innings of an 11-4 loss to St. Louis in his most recent start. Mazzaro, who had a 2.70 ERA in his first four starts, tossed 2 1-3 innings of relief against Minnesota on Saturday in his most recent appearance.
Bouncing back against the Blue Jays, losers of five of seven, could be tough, considering he has an 11.70 ERA in losing his two career starts against them, his worst ERA against any opponent.
Mazzaro has yet to surrender a homer in 24 2-3 innings this year, but keeping that intact could be difficult with the way Jose Bautista is hitting.
Bautista was asked to be part of the AL side for the All-Star home run derby before Monday's game, and he then went out and hit his major league-leading 27th of the season. The two-time defending major league leader in homers has eight and 17 RBIs in his last 14 games, and has gone deep four times in seven contests against the Royals in Toronto since 2010.
|Kansas City Royals|
|June 18, 2012||Chris Getz||15-Day DL||Lateral strain in lower left leg|
|June 17, 2012||Chris Getz||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left lateral leg strain|
|June 07, 2012||Felipe Paulino||15-Day DL||Strained right groin|
|May 26, 2012||Jarrod Dyson||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right hamstring injury|
|May 22, 2012||Chris Getz||15-Day DL||Left ribcage contusion|
|May 22, 2012||Chris Getz||15-Day DL||Left ribcage contusion|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|June 16, 2012||Drew Hutchison||60-Day DL||Right UCL sprain|
|June 14, 2012||Kyle Drabek||15-Day DL||Sprained right elbow ligament|
|June 14, 2012||Kyle Drabek||60-Day DL||Torn right elbow ligament|
|June 13, 2012||Brandon Morrow||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|June 12, 2012||Brandon Morrow||Day-to-Day||Strained left oblique|
|June 07, 2012||Rajai Davis||Day-to-Day||Jammed left middle finger|
TORONTO (AP) -- Vin Mazzaro 's worst outing in over a year got him a ticket back to Triple-A.
Adam Lind hit a three-run homer, Brett Cecil won for the first time in three starts and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Mazzaro and the Kansas City Royals 6-3 on Tuesday night.
Starting for the first time since June 22, Mazzaro allowed six runs and a season-high 13 hits in 5 1-3 innings.
The right-hander was optioned to Triple-A Omaha after the game, and declined to speak with reporters.
"He wasn't slated to throw through the All-Star break so we'll get another arm in here," manager Ned Yost said. The Royals will announce a corresponding roster move Wednesday.
The Royals blew a 3-0 lead and lost for the fourth time in five games since matching their season high with a four-game winning streak.
"We scored early but we couldn't put it together in the second half of the ball game," outfielder Jason Bourgeois said.
The last time Mazzaro (3-3) allowed more than 10 hits was May 16, 2011, when he was tagged for 14 runs over 2 1-3 innings in an 19-1 loss to Cleveland.
Lind's homer was the first allowed by Mazzaro since Minnesota's Rene Tosoni connected off him on Sept. 27, 2011, snapping a streak of 27 2-3 innings without a long ball.
Lind's sixth homer was the big blow in Toronto's six-run fourth inning. The win put the Blue Jays over .500 at 41-40 at the midpoint of the season.
"They put a six spot up and that kind of takes the wind out of you," Kansas City's Billy Butler said.
Cecil (2-1) allowed three runs and five hits in six-plus innings to win for the first time since June 17 against Philadelphia, his first start after being promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas. The left-hander walked one and struck out three.
"Brett with a solid effort for us tonight," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "With the exception of the third inning, it felt like he stayed out of the middle of the plate. He mixed and matched his stuff well."
Jason Frasor and Darren Oliver each worked one inning before Casey Janssen finished in the ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances.
Cecil set down the first six batters in order but ran into trouble in the third, when Jeff Francoeur and Salvador Perez led off with singles and scored on Bourgeois' triple. Alex Gordon followed with a sacrifice fly.
"From that point forward, I thought (Cecil) executed his pitches well," Farrell said.
The Blue Jays managed just two hits, both singles, through the first three innings but erupted for six runs and eight hits in the fourth off Mazzaro.
Brett Lawrie started the inning with a single, Colby Rasmus bunted for a hit, Jose Bautista flied out and Edwin Encarnacion drove in Lawrie with an infield single. Kelly Johnson struck out and Yunel Escobar beat out an infield hit to load the bases for Rajai Davis , who lined a two-run single through the right side. Lind followed with a homer off the facing of the second deck in right.
"(The inning) just kind of built up on him, then culminated with the home run from Adam Lind ," Yost said.
Cecil left after Mike Moustakas doubled to begin the seventh. Frasor came on and got Francoeur to ground out, with Moustakas advancing to third. Perez followed with a fly ball to right, but Bautista threw out Moustakas at the plate for his major league-leading 11th outfield assist.
NOTES: Toronto signed RHP Marcus Stroman, the 22nd overall pick in the June draft. ... Royals LHP Everett Teaford , who beat the Blue Jays on Monday for his first victory of the season, is expected to start again Sunday at Detroit, Kansas City's final game before the All-Star break. ... Lawrie had two of Toronto's eight hits in the fourth. ... All nine Blue Jays batters had at least one hit.