Stephen Matz, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. power Toronto Blue Jays past Kansas City Royals

Apr 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Steven Matz (22) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Matz didn’t allow a hit for the first 5 1/3 innings as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Royals 5-1 in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday in Kansas City.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was 2-for-3 with a home run for Toronto.

Matz (3-0) walked Whit Merrifield leading off the first inning. But he got Andrew Benintendi to ground into a double play when the middle infielders shifted to cover second as Merrifield broke on the pitch. He retired the next 11 hitters before walking Jorge Soler in the fifth.

Matz allowed one run on two hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked two. Matz now has given up three runs in 18 1/3 innings this season, his first with the Blue Jays.

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Mike Minor (1-1) took the loss for Kansas City. He allowed four runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. Minor came in with a career 4-0 record and an ERA of 2.00 against the Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays gave Matz all the support he’d need in the first. Guerrero extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single. Randal Grichuk followed with a broken-bat single before Lourdes Gurriel Jr. laced a double off the top of the wall in left center, driving in two.

Jonathan Davis ended an 0-for-19 stretch, dating back to 2020, with a lead-off home run in the fifth off Minor. Davis, who was hitless in 11 at-bats this season, hit it 384 feet off the left-field foul pole to stretch Toronto’s advantage to 3-0.

Guerrero gave the Blue Jays a 4-0 lead in the sixth with a home run into the bullpen in left. It was his second home run of the series. Guerrero is hitting .500 (17-for-34), with three home runs and nine RBIs during his nine-game hitting streak.

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Nicky Lopez got the Royals’ first hit with a one-out single in the sixth. Benintendi drove him in with a double.

Marcus Semien’s sacrifice fly gave the Blue Jays their final run in the following frame in the seven-inning game.

–Field Level Media