MLB Baseball

5
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Toronto0 0 0 0 0 4 1 0 0 5102
Kansas City1 0 2 4 0 0 0 0 x 790
7
  W: J. Junis (1-0)   L: A. Kay (0-1)   S: S. Barlow (1)
5:10 PM PT6:10 PM MT7:10 PM CT8:10 PM ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 PM MST7:10 PM EST7:40 PM VEN4:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, April 15, 2021
Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri  Attendance: 6,266

With modest winning streaks, Royals face Blue Jays

According to STATS
According to STATS

Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals

  1. Toronto is 11-3 against Kansas City since the start of the 2018 season. That's Toronto's best record against any opponent over the last four seasons.
  2. The Royals scored 25 runs in their first two games of the season but they have scored only 24 runs in eight subsequent games.
  3. The left side of the Blue Jays infield has made six errors this season (three each at shortstop and third base) but Toronto has not had an error from any other position.
  4. Whit Merrifield has 11 RBIs from the top spot in the batting order, tied with Tyler Naquin for second most in the major leagues this season, behind Ronald Acuna (12).
  5. Bo Bichette and Ronald Acuna are the only major-league players with a pair of multiple-homer games this season.
  6. Steven Matz is the fourth pitcher to win his first two games for the Blue Jays while striking out 13 or more batters, joining Roger Clemens (1997), David Price (2015), and Matt Shoemaker (2019). Jakob Junis has not allowed a home run in seven innings this season. Over the last four seasons, Junis allowed an average of 1.6 home runs per nine innings, seventh highest in the major leagues (minimum: 400 innings pitched).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/15/2021 thru 4/18/2021

The Kansas City Royals will welcome the Toronto Blue Jays for the beginning of a four-game series starting Thursday night, with both teams looking to keep mini-streaks alive.

The Royals are coming off a series win against the Los Angeles Angels. Brad Keller turned in his first solid start of the year on Wednesday, and it led to Kansas City's second consecutive win.

The Blue Jays also have won two straight, the second victory coming thanks to a Bo Bichette walk-off home run against the New York Yankees on Wednesday.

Bichette has hit in 11 straight games and turned in his second game of the season with two home runs in the 5-4 win on Wednesday. Still, he entered the game with just six extra-base hits this season.

"I'm just starting to heat up," Bichette said after the game. "I was grinding for a while and staying alive. I think that's part of baseball. You fight until you start feeling good. I feel good. I know I have all the time in the world. I'm not worried about fastballs getting by me, so that's a good feeling to have."

The home run has been a big part of the formula for the Blue Jays this season. They're tied for third in the American League with 16 homers. But their pitching has been solid, too, with their staff tied for second in the league with a 3.08 team ERA.

The Blue Jays haven't announced a starter for Thursday's game.

The Royals will give another start to right-hander Jakob Junis (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who turned in a stellar performance in a spot start against Cleveland on April 7. He was scheduled to pitch two or three innings, but he threw five shutout frames in the Indians' 4-2 win. He didn't figure in the decision after giving up one hit and striking out six. For the season, he hasn't allowed a run in seven innings and has given up just three hits and struck out nine.

"They were swinging early and often," Junis said after his start against the Indians. "Just attacking the strike zone with my cutter, my slider and taking out of the zone when needed was really the name of the game.

"I've always been one to attack the strike zone and not have very many walks and really force the issue. I've been hurt with that in the past, but luckily now with the cutter, it's missing (bats) and helped me get a lot of quick outs."

Junis has a 1-1 record and 3.66 ERA in three career starts against Toronto.

If he can turn in another good outing, it will be the third straight for the Royals. Keller struggled in his first two starts, but he allowed just one run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings against Los Angeles on Wednesday. Keller struck out Mike Trout and Jared Walsh to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the third inning.

Keller's effort followed six innings of one-run ball by Danny Duffy on Tuesday.

Royals manager Mike Matheny was pleased, but not surprised, by Keller's performance.

"That was the Brad Keller we were hoping to see," Matheny said. "That was fun to watch, and I just kind of had an idea that he was going to come out aggressive and trust his stuff."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 15, 2021

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