Greinke’s bubble bursts

Eaten up in recent days by some of the toughest pitchers in baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays snapped out of their slide by rocking the hottest hurler in the game.

Toronto Blue Jay Aaron Hill turns a double play while jumping over Willie Bloomquist of the Kansas City Royals as the Jays torched the Royals 9-3.

Blue Jays 9 Royals 3

TORONTO — Eaten up in recent days by some of the toughest pitchers in baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays snapped out of their slide by rocking the hottest hurler in the game.

Lyle Overbay stopped Zack Greinke’s streak of 111 consecutive innings without a home run against with a solo shot in the second, while Vernon Wells and Alex Rios both ended long droughts at the plate with run-scoring hits off the Kansas City Royals ace in a 9-3 victory Friday night.

Adam Lind also homered and Overbay added a two-run double as the Blue Jays (31-26) bounced back from a pair of tough losses by pounding Greinke for season-highs in runs (seven), earned runs (five) and hits (nine).

“It was a good night for everybody,” said Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston.

Except for the Royals, that is.

Rookie Ricky Romero (3-2) pushed aside some recent struggles to make sure the unexpected bounty of run support didn’t go to waste, zipping through his first six innings. He hit a bump in the seventh, when Jose Guillen hit a two-run blast and Mike Jacobs followed with a solo shot.

But things were well in hand by then, and the Royals (23-31) could do little else to avert an eighth straight loss.

“No matter what I threw, it was just hammered,” lamented Greinke. “I’m not used to that. I don’t remember seeing anyone get hit that hard in a long time. Today I just got crushed.”

And who could have seen that coming?

Greinke started the night 8-1 with a 1.10 earned-run average in 11 starts and hadn’t allowed a home run since Daric Barton got him last Sept. 2. He’d made his opponents look like little boys all year, with his only poor start coming Sunday against the White Sox when he allowed four runs, three earned, over seven innings of a no-decision.

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, had looked dreadful against Jon Lester, Jered Weaver and John Lackey in dropping three of their past four and had scratched out just two runs against Greinke in an 11-3 loss April 29 at Kansas City.

But there were good vibes in the building as the Blue Jays celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first game at the former SkyDome — a 5-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers attended by 48,378, about three times more than the 15,345 on hand this night — and perhaps the sight of Tony Fernandez, Kelly Gruber and Tom Henke, along with a plan to stay off Greinke’s slider, got them going.

“All we really wanted to do is lay off his slider,” said Lind. “If we could do that, we could maybe force him into throwing some fastballs across the plate. Our whole team did what we had to do.”

Marco Scutaro was the catalyst, leading off the first with a double and eventually scoring on a Wells RBI single that ended his 0-for-14 run. Overbay’s homer in the second made it 2-0 and the Blue Jays scored four times in the third to bust it open.

Once again Scutaro opened the frame with a double and he came around on an RBI double by Rios, halting an 0-for-11 string. Rios came around on a throwing error by Tony Pena on a Wells chopper to short, and after Lind singled, Overbay made it 6-0 with his double.

Lind, who came into the game with hits in eight straight at-bats, homered in the fifth for the final run against Greinke (8-2), whose ERA climbed to 1.55.

Rod Barajas added a two-run shot in the eighth off Juan Cruz to make it 9-3.

Just Posted

One dead, others injured after fiery crash in southeastern Alberta

CEREAL, Alta. — One person is dead and others have been injured… Continue reading

Liberals unhurt, Tories not helped by scathing SNC-Lavalin report: Poll

OTTAWA — A new poll suggests a scathing ethics report on Prime… Continue reading

Alberta oil curtailment rules extended to late 2020 as pipeline delays persist

CALGARY — A program that allows the Alberta government to impose production… Continue reading

Alberta city votes to keep money flowing to supervised drug consumption site

LETHBRIDGE — City council in Lethbridge has voted down a motion that… Continue reading

‘We’re going to act:’ Military investigating reservist for hate group link

Military probe reservist for hate group link WINNIPEG — The commander of… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Thursday The Red Deer and District Garden Club hosts its annual Flower… Continue reading

Ethics commissioner ready to testify to committee today: NDP critic

OTTAWA — The NDP’s Charlie Angus says he expects ethics commissioner Mario… Continue reading

Beijing appeals to US to ‘meet China halfway’ on trade

Beijing appealed to Washington on Wednesday to “meet China halfway” and end… Continue reading

Inflation hits Bank of Canada 2% target for second straight month

OTTAWA — The Canadian annual inflation rate came in at two per… Continue reading

Workers escorted away during Border Services probe at Vancouver horse track

VANCOUVER — Several people were removed form a Vancouver horse racing track… Continue reading

RCMP originally planned to arrest Meng Wanzhou on plane, defence lawyers say

VANCOUVER — The defence team for a Huawei executive wanted on fraud… Continue reading

Alberta oil curtailment rules extended to late 2020 as pipeline delays persist

CALGARY — A program that allows the Alberta government to impose production… Continue reading

Alberta city votes to keep money flowing to supervised drug consumption site

LETHBRIDGE — City council in Lethbridge has voted down a motion that… Continue reading

Most Read