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Blue Jays eye first sweep of season Sunday against Royals

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The Sports Network
4/14/2013 11:18:30 AM
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(Sports Network) -  Brandon Morrow, will seek his first win of the season and try to complete the Toronto Blue Jays' first series sweep of the season as the team visits the Kansas City Royals in the finale of a three-game weekend series at Kauffman Stadium.

The 28-year-old native of Santa Rosa, Calif. pitched six innings of one-run ball while getting a no-decision in Toronto's 3-2 loss to Cleveland on April 3, then dropped a 7-3 verdict at Detroit on April 9 after allowing five runs on nine hits in just 3 2/3 innings.

Batters are touching him for a .357 clip so far this season, a far cry from the stingy .214 he held them to in 21 starts for the Blue Jays in 2012.

Morrow, a former closer, is 3-4 with a save in 10 career meetings with Kansas City with a 4.54 ERA in 33 2/3 innings.

On Saturday, Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer to help lead the Blue Jays to a 3-2 win.

Munenori Kawasaki, who replaced an injured Jose Reyes in the starting lineup, had a sacrifice fly and scored once for the Blue Jays, winners in three of their last four games.

Prior to the game, Reyes was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left ankle sprain, and Toronto selected the contract of Kawasaki from Triple-A Buffalo. Reyes suffered the injury in Friday's win. Although MRI results were not immediately released, Reyes could be out for three months.

R.A. Dickey (1-2) allowed one run on five hits over 6 1/3 innings to earn the win. Casey Janssen gave up one run in the ninth but was able to record the final out to pick up his third save of the season.

"Look, nobody has been happy with the way things have gone. Not as a starting staff" Dickey said. "We all talk about it and we know it's obvious that we haven't performed up to not only the expectation but our ability. We all feel very responsible to that. That being said, nobody in here is panicking."

Chris Getz went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Alex Gordon had two hits and drove in a run for the Royals, who have dropped their last two after winning four straight.

James Shields (1-2) lasted all nine innings, giving up three runs on two hits to go with six strikeouts.

"He pitched a great ballgame. He threw 115 pitches I think if he could take one back it'd probably be the curveball to Bautista," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He just got it up a little bit. (Bautista is) one of the strongest guys in the league and ended up hitting a two-run homer off it."

Toronto won six of eight games between the teams in 2012. The Royals won four of seven in 2011.

Kansas City will counter with righty Ervin Santana, who makes his third start with his new team on Sunday.

Santana, a nine-game winner in 30 starts for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, was acquired in a late October trade that sent minor-leaguer Brandon Sisk to the Angels.

The 30-year-old debuted with the Royals on April 3 in Chicago and took a 5-2 loss after allowing four runs on five hits in six innings. He was much more effective in outing No. 2, however, and pitched eight innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 defeat of the Minnesota Twins on April 8.

Santana has faced the Blue Jays 14 times in 238 big-league outings and is 6-5 against them with three complete games and a 3.95 earned run average in 95 2/3 innings. He got a loss and a no-decision in two matchups in 2012 while allowing 10 hits and eight runs in 13 innings.

He is 51-38 in 118 career road outings, with a 3.74 ERA - more than a run lower than the 4.96 clip he's established on the road.

Brandon Morrow (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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