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Vin Mazzaro rocked, demoted; Royals fall, 6-3

July 3, 2012

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— Vin Mazzaro’s worst outing in over a year got him a ticket back to Triple-A.

Adam Lind hit a three-run homer, Brett Cecil won for the first time in three starts, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Mazzaro and the Kansas City Royals, 6-3, on Tuesday night.

Starting for the first time since June 22, Mazzaro allowed six runs and a season-high 13 hits in 51⁄3 innings.

The right-hander was optioned to Triple-A Omaha after the game, and declined to speak with reporters.

“He wasn’t slated to throw through the All-Star break so we’ll get another arm in here,” manager Ned Yost said. The Royals will announce a corresponding roster move today.

The Royals blew a 3-0 lead and lost for the fourth time in five games since matching their season high with a four-game winning streak.

“We scored early but we couldn’t put it together in the second half of the ball game,” outfielder Jason Bourgeois said.

The last time Mazzaro (3-3) allowed more than 10 hits was May 16, 2011, when he was tagged for 14 runs over 21⁄3 innings in an 19-1 loss to Cleveland.

Lind’s homer was the first allowed by Mazzaro since Minnesota’s Rene Tosoni connected off him on Sept. 27, 2011, snapping a streak of 272⁄3 innings without a long ball.

Lind’s sixth homer was the big blow in Toronto’s six-run fourth inning. The win put the Blue Jays over .500 at 41-40 at the midpoint of the season.

“They put a six spot up and that kind of takes the wind out of you,” Kansas City’s Billy Butler said.

Cecil (2-1) allowed three runs and five hits in six-plus innings to win for the first time since June 17 against Philadelphia, his first start after being promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas. The left-hander walked one and struck out three.

“Brett with a solid effort for us tonight,” Toronto manager John Farrell said. “With the exception of the third inning, it felt like he stayed out of the middle of the plate. He mixed and matched his stuff well.”

Jason Frasor and Darren Oliver each worked one inning before Casey Janssen finished in the ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances.

Cecil set down the first six batters in order but ran into trouble in the third, when Jeff Francoeur and Salvador Perez led off with singles and scored on Bourgeois’ triple. Alex Gordon followed with a sacrifice fly.

“From that point forward, I thought (Cecil) executed his pitches well,” Farrell said.

The Blue Jays managed just two hits, both singles, through the first three innings but erupted for six runs and eight hits in the fourth off Mazzaro.

Brett Lawrie started the inning with a single, Colby Rasmus bunted for a hit, Jose Bautista flied out and Edwin Encarnacion drove in Lawrie with an infield single. Kelly Johnson struck out and Yunel Escobar beat out an infield hit to load the bases for Rajai Davis, who lined a two-run single through the right side. Lind followed with a homer off the facing of the second deck in right.

“(The inning) just kind of built up on him, then culminated with the home run from Adam Lind,” Yost said.

Cecil left after Mike Moustakas doubled to begin the seventh. Frasor came on and got Francoeur to ground out, with Moustakas advancing to third. Perez followed with a fly ball to right, but Bautista threw out Moustakas at the plate for his major league-leading 11th outfield assist.

Notes: Toronto signed RHP Marcus Stroman, the 22nd overall pick in the June draft. ... Royals LHP Everett Teaford, who beat the Blue Jays on Monday for his first victory of the season, is expected to start again Sunday at Detroit, Kansas City’s final game before the All-Star break. ... Lawrie had two of Toronto’s eight hits in the fourth. ... All nine Blue Jays batters had at least one hit.

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