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Royals silence Blue Jays' bats

Royals silence Blue Jays' bats
On a wet, miserable night, the Jays' offence was doused 7-1 on a combined two-hitter by Royals right-hander Brian Bannister and two relievers, dropping Toronto into second place in the AL East, percentage points behind the surging Boston Red Sox.

It is the first time the Jays have been out of top spot in the division since beating the Twins in Minnesota on April 15.

quot;It was a funny game,quot; Jays manager Cito Gaston said. quot;Because of how quick it was played, how many walks, how many pitches. It's just one of those games we didn't swing the bats well. We lost it as a team.quot;

A big part of the quot;teamquot; loss, however, was starter David Purcey. More disturbing than the two hits by the offence was another mediocre performance by the young left-hander, who lasted only five innings, allowing six runs on eight hits, with three walks and three strikeouts.

The big blows were a pair of homers by Jose Guillen and a three-run blast by Miguel Olivo. Purcey's ERA climbed to a mediocre 7.01.

quot;Three off-speed pitches I left out over the plate,quot; Purcey said. quot;I pulled a changeup, left a slider up and (Guillen) went down and pulled a slider. Three off-speed pitches and they hit 'em. It's going to happen every so often.quot;

The problem seems to have become that Purcey, who was heralded as the No.3 starter in the Jays' revamped rotation, is consistently pitching just well enough to lose.

quot;It might become a problem with his confidence,quot; Gaston said. quot;You'd like to see the kid get a win, so he could get some confidence. He wasn't all that bad throwing strikes if you look at the ratio. I guess when he did throw some strikes they got hit a couple of times.quot;

Bannister was making only his second start since being recalled from Triple-A Omaha on April 21. He walked six, but otherwise managed to hold the Jays in check, with the only hit in his seven innings being an RBI single by Adam Lind in the first. Scott Rolen singled off Kyle Farnsworth in the ninth.

The two hits were a low in a highly offensive season. Previously, they were held to five hits three times.

The loss broke a five-game winning streak against the Royals and dropped their record against K.C. to 19-12 since 2005. It also dropped the Jays one game below the 15-6 mark posted by the '92 team, which is the best start in club history.

The Jays , commencing their seventh series, had won each of the first six for the first time since the start of 2001. Series win No.7 will have to be accomplished without Roy Halladay drawing a start. It would be meaningful.

quot;It tells me (the rotation) is a little better than people think it is,quot; Gaston said before the game. quot;Sure, I'd like to have Ricky (Romero) in there pitching. I'd like to have Jesse (Litsch) back here, people that we started the season with. Not to mention the guys that we didn't start the season with.quot;

Last night, the Jays opened the scoring in the first inning. The walk-machine that is Marco Scutaro led off with a base-on-balls and advanced on a flyball out by Aaron Hill. With two down, Lind cashed him with a line-drive single.

The Jays will try to avoid losing two in a row for the first time this season tonight with Canadian right-hander Scott Richmond squaring off against Gil Meche.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 28, 2009

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