Kansas City Royals

Toronto's Morrow too much for KC

TORONTO — Brian Bannister blamed himself. So did Brayan Pena.

The way Brandon Morrow pitched, though, Bannister may have had to shut out the Toronto Blue Jays, anyway.

Jose Bautista hit two home runs, Morrow pitched seven innings for his first good start of the season and the Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 8-1 Monday night.

"I was not prepared for that game, and it clearly showed out there," Bannister said. "I didn't give us a chance to win. I got exactly what I deserved, and I take all the blame."

Pena, making his first start of the year, tried to take the heat off his pitcher.

"I have to do a better job calling games," Pena said. "It's my fault. I let my team down, and I really feel bad for it. I apologize to my teammates, and I apologize to my team."

Travis Snider also homered to help the Blue Jays snap a three-game losing streak and win for the 18th time in 22 home games against Kansas City.

Bautista hit a three-run drive off the facing of the third deck in left in the fifth, then added a two-run drive to left in the seventh, the third multihomer game of his career. His five RBIs matched a career high.

Attendance was 10,314, the smallest crowd in the 22-year history of Rogers Centre and breaking the mark set last Wednesday, when Toronto drew 10,610 for a game against the Chicago White Sox.

Morrow (1-1) allowed one run and three hits, lowering his ERA from 12.00 to 7.31. He walked two and struck out eight.

"He was good, Morrow was really good," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "He made it hard on us. He located his breaking ball down and out of the zone, and he threw it for strikes."

Tagged for seven runs and eight hits in his last start, Morrow found success in this one by lowering his arm angle on the advice of pitching coach Bruce Walton.

"You guys probably couldn't even tell, but to me it feels like I'm throwing sidearm," Morrow said. "It's really not much at all, it's just getting my upper body more up and down rather than tilting off to the side."

The right-hander held the Royals without a hit through the first five innings but lost his shutout in the sixth.

Alex Gordon drew a leadoff walk, took second on a grounder and went to third when ninth hitter Yuniesky Betancourt lined a single through the left side. David DeJesus followed with an RBI single to right.

Shawn Camp and Casey Janssen finished with an inning each.

NOTES: Royals OF Scott Podsednik, who leads the AL with a .457 average, went home to Kansas City to deal with a family emergency and should rejoin the team Tuesday, manager Trey Hillman said. . .. Toronto LHP Brian Tallet (sore forearm) will have his next start pushed back three days. Tallet had been set to pitch Friday at Tampa Bay but will not work until Monday at home to Boston. ... Mc Coy's three hits were a career high. ... Blue Jays 3B Edwin Encarnacion (sore right arm) missed his fifth straight game.