TORONTO (AP) — Ned Yost was hoping for something special in Aaron Brooks’ first major league start.
The Kansas City manager didn’t get it.
Juan Francisco had three hits and four RBIs, Adam Lind went 3 for 5 with three RBIs and the Toronto Blue Jays used a seven-run first inning to rout the Royals 12-2 on Saturday.
“It’s tough, you know, coming up and facing a club like this,” Yost said. “You’re really kind of hoping for a Cinderella story, he comes up and give you five good innings. There was just nothing we could do.”
The Blue Jays jumped in front with a 12-batter first inning, setting a team record when the first eight batters reached safely against Brooks. Toronto had seven straight reach safely to begin a win over Baltimore on Sept. 15, 2007.
Jose Reyes led off with a walk, Melky Cabrera was hit by a pitch, Jose Bautista hit an RBI double, Edwin Encarnacion walked to load the bases and Adam Lind hit an RBI single before Brett Lawrie brought home another run when he was hit by a pitch. Juan Francisco hit a two-run double and Dioner Navarro walked before Brooks finally retired a batter, getting Anthony Gose to ground into a 1-2-3 double play.
Reyes and Cabrera added RBI singles before Michael Mariot came out of the bullpen, getting Bautista to foul out on the first pitch to finally end the inning.
Brooks (0-1) allowed seven runs and five hits in 2-3 of an inning, raising his ERA to 43.88. He walked three and struck out none.
“I just couldn’t control the zone,” Brooks said. “I wasn’t getting ahead of batters. I was trying to do a little too much, I guess.”
Royals catcher Brett Hayes said Toronto’s deep lineup is a challenge for any pitcher, let alone a raw rookie
“They’ve got good hitters one through nine,” Hayes said. “There’s no weak spot.
The AL East-leading Blue Jays snapped a two-game losing streak and finished May with a record of 21-9. Toronto has won 15 of its past 19.
Toronto rookie Marcus Stroman (2-0) allowed one run and five hits in six innings in his first career starts. The right-hander walked none and struck out six.
“I thought he was terrific,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “He showed us something.”
Kansas City’s batters were impressed with Stroman, too.
“Power fastball, good slider,” Hayes said. “He got ahead. He’s got good stuff, let’s be honest. That slider is pretty filthy.”
Todd Redmond worked the final three innings for his first save.
Hayes hit an RBI single in the second, but the Blue Jays answered in the bottom half when Lawrie singled home Lind’s one-out double.
Toronto tacked on three more against Mariot in the fourth. Lind hit an RBI double, Lawrie followed with a sacrifice fly and Francisco added an RBI single.
Nori Aoki drove in Kansas City’s second run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the seventh.
Francisco capped the scoring with an RBI double off Louis Coleman in the eighth.
NOTES: Gose was the only Toronto starter to go hitless. … Brooks started in place of RH Yordano Ventura, who left his last outing with a sore elbow. Ventura is expected to make his next start. … Brooks allowed six runs over two innings in a relief appearance against Detroit on May 3. … The Royals optioned utilityman Jimmy Paredes to Triple-A Omaha to make room for Brooks. … Royals C Saldavor Perez, OF Lorenzo Cain and 2B Omar Infante got the day off. … Kansas City RH Jeremy Guthrie (2-3) will face Toronto LH Mark Buehrle (9-1) in Sunday’s series finale.