Blue Jays blow it in the ninth, lose to Royals

Sheri Evans
June 25, 2017

Whit Merrifield delivered his first career walk-off hit with a two-run double as the Kansas City Royals rallied from a four-run deficit to top the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 on Friday night.

Staked to a 4-1 lead with two out in the bottom of the ninth, even that wasn't even enough, however as the Royals scored four runs, the capper being a ripped double to left field from Whit Merrifield to score a pair for the final two runs. Alcides Escobar singled to cut the score to 4-2.

In the last series encounter which dates back to August 2016, the Jays won the first game while the Royals captured the last two in Kauffman Stadium.

The loss foiled an outstanding start from Happ, who left after 6.2 innings in which he had given up just four hits and one run and his team leading 2-1. He did not pitch in a save situation for the Blue Jays on Friday night against the Kansas City Royals. Toronto added two runs in the ninth with run-producing singles by Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak.

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Once again the ball went off Smith's glove and Perez wound up on second base with a double. Mike Moustakas pops out to shortstop to Troy Tulowitzki. He hit.289 with 13 extra base hits and 32 runs scored in 60 games at Buffalo, this season. The Blue Jays scored two runs on one hit, a hit batter and a wild pitch in the fourth inning. Estrada is really struggling lately, failing to get through four innings in three of his last four starts. Tulowitzki doubled to the right-center gap, scoring Morales. The only other Kansas City baserunner the first five innings was Moss' opposite-field single with two out in the fifth.

So Grilli threw a fastball to make sure he threw a strike and Merrifield was ready for it; Whit lined it into left field, in the general direction of Dwight Smith, Jr.

RHP Chris Young, an integral part of the Royals' 2015 World Series championship team, was designated for assignment with a 7.50 ERA in 14 appearances. He was 1-5 with a 6.00 ERA for the Brewers and eight for nine in save chances.

But life has become significantly more complicated for the talented 22-year-old Blue Jays reliever as he grapples with issues that go far beyond his ability to throw a 97 mile per hour fastball from a pitcher's mound. They optioned RHP Cesar Valdez to the Bisons. LF Steve Pearce, who bruised his right knee banging into the wall Wednesday, did not play for the second consecutive game. Royals LHP Danny Duffy will begin a rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Omaha.

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