Buck knocks in five as Royals overcome pesky Blue Jays
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- John Buck has a term for the type of triples he was knocking around Kauffman Stadium on Thursday.
"Well placed," the 230-pound catcher said with a big grin.
Buck tripled twice and drove in five runs, and the Kansas City Royals turned six double plays in an 8-6 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Royals took three of four from the Blue Jays, who hit town on Monday leading the AL East with the best record in the majors. Toronto, for the first time in team history, had started the year by winning six consecutive series of at least three games.
"Offensively, it feels good to pick up the pitching staff for a change," said Kansas City's Billy Butler, who had six hits and five RBIs in the last two games of the series. "We feel good out there."
The Royals tied their club record by turning six double plays. The Blue Jays tied a team mark with the six double plays and set a club record for a nine-inning game.
The Royals hadn't turned six double plays since 1972 but grounded into six themselves just last week in Cleveland.
"That's a lot of double plays," Toronto center fielder Vernon Wells said. "It was frustrating."
Buck hit a two-run triple off Brian Burres (0-2) in the second inning, a sacrifice fly in the third and another two-run triple off Bryan Bullington in the fifth. He also doubled in the eighth.
"I wasn't even thinking triple," he said of his final at-bat. "I was just hoping I'd get to second and he didn't throw me out."
Buck became the second Royals catcher to collect two triples in a game and tied a career high with five RBIs. He entered with three career triples, never more than one in a single season.
Kyle Davies (2-1) allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings for the Royals, who improved to 12-10 for their first winning April since 2003.
"I was able to get the double play. That's the story," Davies said. "But I felt like I threw the ball really good. The ball came out of my hand the best it probably has all year. The location wasn't the best."
With star closer Joakim Soria nursing a sore shoulder for another couple of days, Juan Cruz worked the ninth for his second career save and first since Sept. 21, 2002.
"He was outstanding," manager Trey Hillman said. "It's good to see. When [Soria] is not available, maybe he's our go-to guy now."
Burres lasted just two-plus innings for Toronto. He gave up six runs, four earned, and five hits.
Burres and Bullington were optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas after the game.
"I talk about how we win as a team," manager Cito Gaston said. "We lost as a team today. It's hard to win a game when you score six runs and hit into six double plays."
Marco Scutaro hit Davies' second pitch over the wall in center to give Toronto a 1-0 lead in the first. Adam Lind's two-run drive off Jamey Wright in the eighth cut Kansas City's lead to 8-6.
Willie Bloomquist singled leading off the Royals third and went to second when first baseman Kevin Millar mishandled Mark Teahen's grounder. After Jose Guillen's RBI single, Butler doubled in a run and Buck's sacrifice fly made it 6-2.
The Blue Jays said they would fill the two empty roster spots later. ... Scutaro has two leadoff homers this year and four in his career. ... Bloomquist made an outstanding tumbling catch of Travis Snider's sinking liner into left field in the second inning. ... Snider's 11 RBIs leads all AL rookies. ... The start of the game was delayed 33 minutes by rain. ... Darrell Porter was the only Kansas City catcher to get two triples in a game. He did it on June 4, 1978, against the White Sox.
KC Wins 3-1
- Home Plate Umpire - Lance Barksdale
- First Base Umpire - James Hoye
- Second Base Umpire - Adrian Johnson
- Third Base Umpire - Mike Winters