Kansas City, Mo. Scott Richmond called it his best outing in the majors. Aaron Hill agreed.
Richmond pitched seven sharp innings, Vernon Wells drove in three, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals, 8-1, Tuesday.
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.