Home runs from Adam Lind, Jayson Nix help lift Blue Jays

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Adam Lind is back to hitting cleanup for the Toronto Blue Jays and that is making it difficult for opponents to pitch around Jose Bautista.

The Kansas City Royals opted to intentionally walk Bautista, who leads the majors with 20 home runs in the sixth Wednesday night to load the bases. Two pitches later, Lind hit a grand slam to power the Blue Jays to a 9-8 victory over the Royals Wednesday night.

"I kind of expected it," Lind said of the Royals walking Bautista, who has not homered in 10 games. "He's probably the best hitter in the game and they would rather not pitch to him. I don't think its disrespect for me. I just wanted to have a good at-bat and hit the ball hard."

Lind did, slugging a 1-0 pitch from rookie right-hander Nate Adcock out to center.

"He's got power and driving in runs and hitting for average as well," Bautista said. "The fact he's in the lineup is a huge difference. He's a great hitter. He's proven it before and he's proving it again. It's not he sees it as disrespect, but when he gets the opportunity to come through he wants to do it. He did tonight."

Adcock retired the first two batters of the inning before Mike McCoy walked and Corey Patterson, who had four hits, singled and went to second on the throw to third to bring up Bautista, who already had two singles to raise his average to .351.

"You have arguably the best hitter in baseball, and he's tough to strike out, with runners at second and third, with first base open," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "And you've got one of maybe the top 15 hitters behind him. We decided to make their second-best hitter beat us than their best. Adcock just left a pitch up."

Lind spent a month on the disabled list with a strained lower back, but has hit four home runs since being activated Friday.

"Lind's presence in the lineup changes the whole complexion of the middle of the order," Blue Jay manager John Farrell said.

Jayson Nix added a three-run homer, but the Royals scored four runs in the final two innings off the Toronto bullpen to close within one. Patterson snapped an 0-for-11 skid with four hits and scored two runs.

Blue Jays starter Carlos Villanueva (4-0) had one rough inning, the fourth when he allowed four runs, but pitched seven innings, allowing six hits. Villanueva has won his past eight decisions since his last loss, Aug. 17, 2009 at Pittsburgh.

Nix's home run off rookie left-hander Danny Duffy (0-2) with Aaron Hill and Rajai Davis aboard put the Blue Jays up 5-4.

Juan Rivera drove in the first two Blue Jays runs with singles in the first and third innings.

Villanueva, who has held opponents to a .156 batting average on the road, gave up a three-run homer to Melky Cabrera in the third. Alex Gordon's sacrifice fly drove in the first Kansas City run.

"With the exception of the 0-2 pitch to Cabrera by Carlos, he did an outstanding job for seven innings with the one blemish," Farrell said.

Billy Butler's three-run homer with two out in the eighth off Octavio Dotel cut the Blue Jays lead to two runs. Jeff Francoeur, who had three hits, and Eric Hosmer, who walked, scored on Butler's fifth home run.

Casey Jansen worked the ninth for his first save since 2009, but gave up a RBI-double to Gordon with two outs. Farrell said he used Janssen in the ninth because closer Jon Rauch has "a little bit of a lat issue."

Game notes
SS Yunel Escobar was held out of the Blue Jays lineup with tightness in his left quad and replaced by McCoy, who was making his 13th start but his first at shortstop. Escobar left after three innings after being kneed while stealing second base in the first inning Tuesday. "He feels a little bit better today than he did yesterday, but we don't want him out there unless we have no other choice tonight," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He'll be reevaluated Thursday." ... Toronto C J.P. Arencibia did not start after taking a foul tip Tuesday, but should be in the lineup Thursday. ... Royals LHP Bruce Chen, who is on the disabled list with a strained left lat, made his first minor league rehab start Wednesday and allowed four runs on five hits in two innings in a start for Double-A Northwest Arkansas at Arkansas. He threw 29 strikes in 45 pitches.