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Sports

Royals skid hits 11

April 24, 2012

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— John Farrell has plenty of reasons to be bummed that the Toronto Blue Jays won’t be back in Kansas City this season. Four of them, to be exact.

Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer, Kelly Johnson also went deep, and the Blue Jays beat the bumbling Royals, 4-1, on Monday night to wrap up their first four-game sweep in nearly three years.

The Blue Jays improved to 6-1 on the road this season, making the most of their only trip through Kansas City. They head off to Baltimore for a three-game set that wraps up a seven-game road swing, one that has thrust them into the picture in the AL East.

Brandon Morrow (1-1) took care of the struggling Kansas City lineup. The right-hander allowed seven hits and a walk in 62⁄3 innings, and Luis Perez and Francisco Cordero did the rest. Cordero got some help from a double-play groundout in the ninth for his second save.

“I thought Brandon did a great job from the third inning on,” Farrell said. “He pitched out of a number of jams and really executed when he needed to make pitches.”

He got some help from the Royals’ ghastly situational hitting, one of many factors that led to their 11th straight loss. Kansas City wound up winless on a 10-game homestand, the first team to lose its first 10 at home since the Cubs dropped 12 in a row at Wrigley Field in 1994.

Eric Hosmer scored the Royals’ only run with a homer leading off the second inning.

“That’s a good team over there with a lot of good players,” Farrell said. “They’ve got a very good, talented young team. It’s what we went through last year. You have to grow and mature.”

The four-game sweep was the Blue Jays’ first since May 2009, and their first ever at Kansas City. The last time they swept four on the road was 2003 against the New York Yankees.

Bruce Chen (0-2) used his veteran guile to keep the Blue Jays on the ropes most of the game. His only major mistakes came against Bautista and Johnson, and they cost him the game.

Kansas City (3-13) matched the 2006 team for the second-worst start in franchise history, and heads out on a nine-game trip having lost 11 straight for the first time since May 2008.

The last team to lose 10 straight at home was Arizona in 2004.

“Talk to us at the end of May and see what our record is,” Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. “I still believe we’ve got plenty of talent in this room to turn it around, and that’s what we plan on doing. I wanted to get this one bad tonight just to get one at home.”

Johnson staked the Blue Jays to the lead with his first-inning home, and it was tied 1-all in the third inning when Alcides Escobar led off with a double.

Chris Getz sacrificed him to third base, but Alex Gordon struck out — he’s hitting .177 on the season — and Billy Butler grounded out to third base to end the inning.

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