Royals look for rare series win against Blue Jays

MLB

The Kansas City Royals will enter the final game of a four-game series against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday with a chance to do something they haven’t done in four seasons.

If Kansas City wins the game, the Royals will claim their first series win against the Blue Jays since 2017.

It’s still a possibility after Salvador Perez’s walk-off home run in the seventh inning of the second game of a doubleheader Saturday. The Royals claimed the win 3-2 after the Blue Jays won the first game of the doubleheader 5-1 behind a strong starting effort by Steven Matz.

It was Perez’s third walk-off home run of his career, which ties him for second place all-time in Royals history behind only George Brett (six). His 459-foot blast was the third-longest walk-off home run in the Statcast era (since 2015).

The Royals are one of two teams in Major League Baseball (the Dodgers are the other) that has not lost a series. The Royals have won two series and split two series, with Sunday’s outcome determining if they win or tie their third series of the season.

The Royals will send Brady Singer to the mound in search of his first win. Singer is 0-2 with a 6.48 ERA. He has struck out 11 in 8 1/3 innings. He took the loss against the Los Angeles Angels in his last start when he gave up four runs in five innings. However, only one was earned.

“That was a really good start by Brady,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “Not the results, but the stuff was as good as we’ve seen from him. I thought the lower part of the zone maybe as good as we’ve seen in a long time. You’re talking three unearned runs that ended up piling on. There was some trouble, but the stuff was very encouraging today and something to build on in my mind.”

It will be Singer’s first appearance against the Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays will rely on their fourth straight left-handed starter as Robbie Ray takes his 0-1 record and 3.60 ERA to the mound. Ray made his season debut against the Yankees on April 12. He gave up two earned runs in five innings.

“That was one of the bright things about tonight, the way [Ray] pitched,” manager Charlie Montoyo said. “He looked the same. He was around the zone. His stuff was really good. It was great to see Robbie Ray pitching like that. It makes me feel really good. Not only me, the whole team.”

Ray was pleased as well.

“I felt like everything was right around the zone the whole night,” Ray said. “I made some really good pitches, got some double-play balls that were huge. Big picture, definitely a good outing to build off of.”

Ray spent most of his eight-year career with the Arizona Diamondbacks before getting traded to the Blue Jays during the 2020 season. He only has one prior appearance against the Royals. He lasted just 1 2/3 innings, allowing one run on the final game of the 2017 season.

–Field Level Media

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