Toronto The Blue Jays are well aware of how tough the AL East can be. If they keep hitting like they have been, they could make it a lot tougher.
Troy Glaus homered and reached base four times, and Aaron Hill had three hits and three RBIs to lead the Blue Jays over the Kansas City Royals, 7-4, on Wednesday night.
"We're built to score runs," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. "If our pitcher keeps us in the game, we'll get a lot of wins."
Gustavo Chacin (1-0) did just that, allowing three runs and five hits in five-plus innings as the Blue Jays won for the fourth time in five games.
"Bottom line is he kept himself in there and got himself a win," said Gibbons.
But it was another fine offensive effort that led Toronto to the win. The Blue Jays pounded out 12 hits, and scored more than five runs for the seventh time in eight games.
Glaus was 2-for-2 with two walks and three runs for Toronto (5-3), striving to overtake the New York Yankees and Boston in the AL East. Glaus, who left Saturday's game because of a sore left heel and also sat out Sunday, was replaced by John McDonald at third base to begin the eighth. Glaus said he was still tender but expected to play on Thursday. He homered in the sixth, his second of the year.
Down 2-1 in the fourth, Alex Rios doubled to deep center to score Vernon Wells and Frank Thomas. With the hit, Rios extended his hitting streak to eight games. He's the only Blue Jay with a hit in every game this season. Glaus tried to score from first on the play but was thrown out on the relay from shortstop Tony Pena Jr.
Wells' RBI infield single made it 4-2 in the fifth, but Ryan Shealy's sacrifice fly pulled the Royals within a run in the sixth.
Esteban German pulled the Royals within 5-4 in the seventh with an RBI single off Casey Janssen that ended a 14-inning scoreless streak by Toronto's bullpen. Hill hit a two-run double against Todd Wellemeyer in the bottom half.
"We kept scoring, but they kept scoring," said Kansas City manager Buddy Bell. "We just couldn't get a goose egg up there after we scored a run."
B.J. Ryan pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in four chances.
"We've got a great bullpen, and those guys are doing a great job," said Chacin.
Jorge De La Rosa (1-1) gave up five runs - four earned- and nine hits in 52â3 innings.
David DeJesus homered for Kansas City (3-6), back in the AL Central cellar, its usual home.
"It's tough right now. We're in a lot of games," said De Jesus. "We've got to fix those little things, make a play here and make a play there. We've got to stay confident, stay together and be behind each other, want to make that play to get us back in the dugout and get us hitting."
Notes: The Blue Jays are 4-1 when facing left-handed starters. ... Chacin has nine wins in 12 career April starts.