Though his transition back to the AL hasn't gone as planned, reigning NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey doesn't appear too worried.
Reyes drove in two runs before getting carted off with an ankle injury in the sixth inning of Friday's 8-4 series-opening win. The four-time All-Star, who was hurt while stealing second base, will go on the disabled list and could be out as little as four weeks if his ankle is only sprained.
However, if the injury is any worse, general manager Alex Anthopoulos said "the other scenario could be three months, or if something comes up we're not expecting, it could be more than that."
Reyes, batting a team-leading .395 in his first season with Toronto, tweeted after the game that "Sunny days wouldn't be special if it wasn't for rain."
"Jose is great. He's a big part of this team. I can't emphasize that enough," Anthopoulos said. "Every team goes through these things. I don't believe we're a team built on one player, no matter how great a player it is. Just continue to move forward."
The Blue Jays will try to do just that behind Dickey (0-2, 8.44 ERA).
The veteran knuckleballer put together a magnificent campaign with the New York Mets last year, going 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA and an NL-best 230 strikeouts. Dickey, though, hasn't been able to get things together since landing in Toronto (4-6) this offseason.
After giving up four runs and four walks over six innings of a 4-1 loss to Cleveland on April 2, Dickey was tagged for eight runs and 10 hits before being pulled with two outs in the fifth inning Sunday in a 13-0 defeat to Boston.
"The first couple of times through the rotation, sometimes you're trying to find your way and find your release point," he told MLB's official website. "I'm not panicked. But I know I've got some work to do. I'm anxious to get back on the hill.
"You have to have aptitude in this game, and there are some things I can get better at that I've identified on some video after the game, and we'll see what happens."
Dickey has lost three of four career starts against Kansas City (6-4) while compiling a 6.14 ERA, though his last one came back in 2004 while with Texas. Despite his early season struggles, the Royals know they could have their hands full Saturday.
"Obviously, the rule of thumb with a knuckleball - I've faced Tim Wakefield the last few years - is 'If it's high, let it fly; if it's low, let it go,'" Royals designated hitter Billy Butler said. "It's a little bit different - Dickey throws it harder. If the ball's moving everywhere and he's on, it's going to be tough."
Royals fans, meanwhile, get a chance to see the team's own big-name pitching acquisition in person for the first time with James Shields slated to make his home debut. Brought in from Tampa Bay this offseason, Shields (1-1, 3.75 ERA) lasted six innings in each of his first two starts, striking out 14 and walking none.
The right-hander has been lights out over six matchups against the Blue Jays since the start of 2011, going 5-0 with a 0.94 ERA while striking out 50 in 47 2-3 innings. He's had his way with Edwin Encarnacion (2 for 14), Adam Lind (1 for 14), J.P. Arencibia (1 for 12) and Jose Bautista (2 for 11) over that stretch, though Arencibia and Bautista both took him deep.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|April 12, 2013||Jose Reyes||Day-to-Day||Sprained left ankle|
|April 11, 2013||Darren Oliver||Day-to-Day||Arm|
|April 04, 2013||Jose Bautista||Day-to-Day||Left game - Twisted ankle|
|March 27, 2013||Dustin McGowan||60-Day DL||Sore right shoulder|
|March 25, 2013||Brett Lawrie||Day-to-Day||Strained rib|
|March 22, 2013||Drew Hutchison||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|Kansas City Royals|
|March 31, 2013||Danny Duffy||15-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
|February 12, 2013||Felipe Paulino||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- R.A. Dickey hopes the injury to Jose Reyes sparks the Toronto Blue Jays.
After finding out the star shortstop likely will be sidelined until the All-Star break, Dickey allowed one run and five hits in 6 1-3 innings Saturday night in the Blue Jays' 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals .
Reyes is likely out for three months with a severe left ankle sprain, an injury sustained stealing a base on Friday night.
"It certainly hurts to lose a player of Jose's caliber and personality," Dickey said. "I think it also provides us with an opportunity to come together and collectively shoulder the burden that we will miss with his absence. Sometimes a situation like that can really cause a team to jell."
Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer off James Shields (1-2), who pitched a two-hitter with six strikeouts and three walks and was the hard-luck loser.
Reyes was hitting .395 and led the majors with five stolen bases before the injury.
"We're going to go as far as the rotation is going to bring us," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "That's really what it comes down. It starts there. No question, Reyes is a big loss offensively, but I do think we have enough depth from our offensive standpoint to be fine. We just need to get the rotation going."
Coming in, Toronto's revamped rotation had a 7.55 ERA and J.A. Happ (2-4) was the only Blue Jays starter to win.
"Nobody has been happy with the way things have gone, not as a starting staff," Dickey said. "We all talk about it. It's obvious we haven't performed, not only the expectations, but our ability. And we all feel very responsible to that. That being said, nobody in here is panicking and nobody in here is trying any less hard than normal. "If we just keep eating up innings, keep looking to get better, improving, growing, we're going to be fine."
Acquired from the New York Mets after going 20-6 last season and winning the NL Cy Young Award, Dickey was 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA in his first two starts for Toronto. Against the Royals, the knuckleballer struck out four, walked two and hit a batter, throwing 64 of 100 pitches for strikes.
"We never could muster a consistent attack against Dickey," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "His knuckler was really dancing. We never could get any consistent momentum."
Jarrod Dyson chased Dickey with a two-out double in the seventh. After Darren Oliver relieved, Dyson stole third and scored on Chris Getz 's bunt single.
Casey Janssen pitched the ninth for his third save in as many chances, allowing a two-out single to Getz, who took second on defensive indifference and scored on Alex Gordon 's single. Alex Escobar followed with a game-ending flyout.
"It got a little hairy at the end, but Janssen got it done," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "You don't win too many games when you get two hits, but homers win."
Toronto went ahead when Macier Izturis doubled leading off the third, advanced on Henry Blanco 's groundout and scored a sacrifice fly by Munenori Kawasaki , called up from the minors after Reyes severely sprained his left ankle on an awkward slide.
Kawasaki walked leading off the sixth and scored on Bautista's third home run of the season, a two-out drive. Kawasaki, who batted ninth and played shortstop, hit .295 in six seasons with Fukuoka in Japan's Pacific League, but just .192 with a .202 slugging percentage with one extra-base hit in 104 at-bats last season with Seattle.
Toronto mustered just enough to defeat Shields.
"He pitched a great ballgame," Yost said. "He threw 115 pitches and if he had to take any one back it would be the curveball to Bautista. Bautista's a strong guy and he got it out. The one pitch made the difference."
NOTES: Royals 1B Eric Hosmer has tightness in his right quadriceps and did not start for the second straight night. ... Emilo Bonifacio, who started eight games at second base and batted ninth in eight games, played right field for the first time since Sept. 15, 2011, and batted leadoff. Bautista started at third base for the first time since Aug. 4, 2011. ... Royals 3B Mike Moustakas is hitless in 13 at-bats, dropping his average to .158.