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Blue Jays 8, Royals 1

Blue Jays 8, Royals 1
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Scott Richmond called it his best outing in the majors. Aaron Hill agreed.

Richmond pitched seven sharp innings, Vernon Wells drove in three runs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 8-1 Tuesday night.

Hill had three more hits to increase his major-leading total to 36 and raise his average to .371. Hill, who had two RBIs, has a hit in all but one game this season.

"Richmond did an unbelievable job," Hill said. "His slider was 85-86 (mph) and just keeping hitters off balance. He was spotting his fastball. That was the best I've seen him, especially the presence he had on the mound. He was very confident. It was really good to see."

Richmond (3-0), a rookie right-hander, limited the Royals to one run and five hits over seven innings.

"Consistency comes from the confidence," Richmond said. "I'm just trying to go out there and execute my pitches down in the zone. I feel if I can do that, I'm going to be successful. These guys are playing so good. I'm just trying to keep them in games."

The 29-year-old who pitched three seasons with Edmonton in the independent leagues before signing with the Blue Jays in November 2007, walked three and struck out five, lowering his ERA to 2.70.

"Richmond pitched a great game," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "That's just what we needed. I'm really happy for Scott. We know how hard he's worked to get to this point. Right now, he's doing pretty good."

The Royals loaded the bases in the third, but Jose Guillen popped foul to catcher Rod Barajas to end the inning. The Royals are hitless in seven at-bats with two outs and the bases loaded.

"He hit a couple of home runs last night and he's feeling pretty good," Richmond said. "I was able to get in on his hands on the first pitch and get him to pop it up. That's a big out."

Royals starter Gil Meche left after 3 2-3 innings with lower back stiffness and will be evaluated Wednesday. Meche (1-2) gave up five runs on seven hits and five walks. He threw only 43 strikes in 85 pitches.

"Meche had lower back stiffness in spring training and had trouble with the mound in Texas (an April 17 start)," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "He was masking it pretty good and wanted to stay out there. I can't make any predictions about his next start."

Said Meche: "I've never had anything back wise, ever, so it's kind of annoying. I don't think there is any kind of structural problem as far as tears or anything. It comes and goes. I'm not concerned. We're going to switch exercises, maybe doing some things I haven't been doing."

The Blue Jays batted around in a four-run fourth, which included Wells' two-run single. Lyle Overbay and Barajas hit back-to-back doubles for the first run of the inning. Hill's single scored Barajas with the second run of the inning.

"We got the key hits at the right time," Hill said. "It's something we haven't done in a while. It's nice to get those two-out knocks."

Toronto added three more runs on five hits in the eighth off relievers Horacio Ramirez and Kyle Farnsworth. Marco Scutaro, Wells and Hill each had RBI singles.

David DeJesus' two-out double in the fifth scored Coco Crisp, who had an infield single, for Kansas City's run.

Alberto Callaspo went 0-for-3 with a walk, snapping his hitting streak at 10 games, the longest by a Royals player this season.

Notes: Toronto RHP Casey Jansen threw 37 pitches and three innings Monday in his first minor league rehab start with Class-A Dunedin. Jansen, who went on the disabled list March 27 with a sore right shoulder, allowed two hits, struck out three and walked two. ... Toronto RHP Jesse Litsch, who is on the DL with a right forearm strain, was given the OK to resume throwing after seeing Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. ... Royals closer Joakim Soria threw a bullpen session Tuesday, his first time throwing off the mound since Wednesday when he earned a save in Cleveland. He has not pitched in six games because of a sore right shoulder, but is not on the disabled list.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 29, 2009

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