The Canadian Press
TORONTO–The Kansas City Royals were aggressive from the start last night and it paid off with one of their more lopsided wins of the season.
Swinging regularly at the first pitch against Brett Anderson, the Royals chased the Toronto starter early in a 15-5 rout of the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer in Kansas City’s eight-run second inning, and Whit Merrifield and Mike Moustakas added solo shots in a four-run sixth.
The Royals outhit Toronto 18-6 and ended a three-game losing skid.
“They came out swinging and they didn’t miss,” said Jays’ manager John Gibbons.
The Royals (74-77) are clinging to faint playoff hopes in the American League. They entered play four games behind Minnesota in the race for the second wild-card spot.
The Twins were dumped 11-3 by the N.Y. Yankees yesterday afternoon but they remain 1.5 games up on the L.A. Angels, who fell 6-5 to Cleveland last night.
Raffy Lopez hit a solo homer for Toronto (71-81) while Teoscar Hernandez had a two-run double.
Melky Cabrera drove in Lorenzo Cain with a sacrifice fly in the first inning before the Royals erupted in the second.
The first five reached base in the frame, with Alcides Escobar and Eric Hosmer driving in two runs apiece.
Merrifield added an RBI single while Alex Gordon stole third and came home on a Russell Martin throwing error.
Luis Santos replaced Anderson with one out but didn’t fare much better.
Perez turned on an 0-2 pitch for his 26th homer of the season and Moustakas doubled for his second hit of the inning before the Toronto reliever finally got the last two outs.
Anderson (3-4) gave up a season-high eight earned runs, along with seven hits and two walks.
“It’s just one of those nights,” he said. “Obviously, you’d like to battle and get through and give the [team] a chance.
“But nothing seemed to work.”
Anderson started trending on Twitter after a video clip showed him tearing his cap in frustration while sitting on the dugout bench.
“I don’t really snap,” he noted. “I try to stay as even keel as possible, but that’s what happened.
“It’s part of the game sometimes.”
In the sixth, Merrifield hit a 1-0 pitch from Carlos Ramirez into the seats for his 18th homer.
It was the first earned run allowed by the right-hander in 47 2/3 innings at the minor- and major-league level this season.
Moustakas set a franchise record later in the inning when he belted his 37th homer of the season.
It moved him past Steve Balboni (1985) for the Royals’ all-time single-season high.
“It was pretty special to be able to hit that and then come in and share that with all my teammates, all the guys I’ve spent 10-plus years with,” Moustakas said.
“It’s definitely an awesome feeling and something I’m definitely going to remember for the rest of my life.”
The Jays got on the board with four runs in the seventh.
After Hernandez drove in the first two runs, Lopez and Ryan Goins provided back-to-back sacrifice flies.
Royals’ starter Jakob Junis (8-2) allowed three hits over 6 1/3 innings.
He gave up two earned runs while walking a pair and striking out three.
Kansas City tacked on two more runs in the eighth while Lopez went deep in the ninth.
The announced attendance was 33,050, pushing the Jays’ season total past three million for the third-straight year.
Before the game, the Jays announced that right-hander Marco Estrada had signed a one-year, $13-million (U.S.) contract extension through 2018.
Elsewhere in the AL, Boston dumped Baltimore 9-0, Oakland edged Detroit 3-2, Houston nipped Chicago 4-3, and Texas topped Seattle 8-6.
Tampa Bay beat the Chicago Cubs 8-1 in interleague play.