Blue Jays 7 Royals 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Cavan Biggio hit the go-ahead homer in the eighth inning, Randal Grichuk and Teoscar Hernandez also went deep, and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied past the Kansas City Royals 7-3 on Monday night.
Top prospect Bo Bichette singled in the first at-bat of his big league career, and the Blue Jays got a strong spot start from Thomas Pannone in the opener of a 10-game trip.
Tim Mayza (1-1) earned the victory with a scoreless inning of relief.
Brad Keller (7-10) let just three balls out of the infield until Hernandez’s tying home run in the fifth inning. The right-hander went on to allow three homers in a game for the first time in his career, and four runs total in seven-plus innings.
Pannone, who was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo before the game, gave the Blue Jays six competitive innings. The left-hander allowed three runs and five hits.
The Royals didn’t get a hit off Pannone until Cam Gallagher’s one-out double off the top of the wall in left in the third. Whit Merrifield followed with a single to give Kansas City the lead.
Keller, who fanned four of his first five batters, was cruising along until Hernandez came up in the fifth. He sent a mistake splashing into the fountains an estimated 450 feet from home plate.
Biggio then led off the sixth with a single. Grichuk turned on a 2-1 pitch moments later, sending it over the left-field wall for his 17th homer.
Keller, who came into the game with the third-stingiest home run rate in the majors, breezed through the seventh inning and manager Ned Yost left him in to start the eighth. That’s when Biggio followed up a deep foul ball with an even deeper fair one for a solo shot that gave the Blue Jays the lead again.
Toronto tacked on three more runs in the ninth to put the game away.
Bichette, the son of longtime big leaguer Dante Bichette, makes it a trio of legacy players in the Blue Jays lineup. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Biggio, the son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, arrived earlier this season. Their fathers combined to make 20 appearances in the All-Star Game.
The Royals requested unconditional release waivers on Lucas Duda after the first baseman was designated for assignment last weekend. Duda was hitting just .171 in his second stint in Kansas City.
Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi said he was feeling much better after fielding grounders before the game. Mondesi has been out since July 17 with a left shoulder subluxation.
Blue Jays second baseman Freddy Galvis was scratched about an hour before first pitch with lower back tightness. Galvis has been the subject of trade rumours after Bichette’s long-awaited arrival shifted him from his preferred shortstop position.
Left-hander Mike Montgomery (1-3, 6.09 ERA) makes his third start for the Royals on Tuesday night following his trade from the Cubs. The Blue Jays have yet to announce their starter.