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Blue Jays seek momentum on the road against Royals

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The Sports Network
4/29/2014 12:18:25 PM
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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Blue Jays will play their next eight games on the road, starting with Tuesday's opener of a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

The Blue Jays were able to snap a four-game losing streak with Sunday's 7-1 win over the Boston Red Sox in the finale of a three-game series at Rogers Centre. Brett Lawrie hit a solo home run and drove in two, while Edwin Encarnacion ended with two doubles and two RBI.

Melky Cabrera was 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Jays, who gave starting pitcher R.A. Dickey enough run support. The right-handed knuckleballer limited the rival Red Sox to a run on five hits in 6 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and no walks.

"When I have one to two to zero walks, it's usually going to be a pretty good day, and that's what I need to get back to, and like I said, today was a good step in that direction," said Dickey, who won for the first time since April 5 and is 2-3 on the season.

Steve Delabar and Esmil Rogers combined to throw 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.

Dustin McGowan draws the start for the Blue Jays Tuesday and he is 1-1 in four starts with a lofty 6.88 ERA. He has posted back-to-back no-decisions and was reached for six runs in four innings of last Wednesday's 10-8 loss to Baltimore.

McGowan has allowed nine runs over the past two outings and is 1-1 with a 2.30 ERA in four career meetings (2 starts) with the Royals.

Kansas City is home for the next six games versus Toronto and Detroit, and hopes to build on a strong offensive performance Tuesday night.

The Royals took two of three meetings in Baltimore over the weekend and closed the set with Sunday's 9-3 pounding of the Orioles. Omar Infante hit a two-run homer to highlight a four-run seventh inning and finished with six RBI.

"He's a tremendous offensive performer and definitely the star of the day today for us," Royals manager Ned Yost said about Infante.

Alex Gordon had two RBI and Norichika Aoki collected two hits and three runs scored. Royals starting pitcher James Shields got the win and held the Orioles to a pair of runs and three hits in seven innings of work. He is 3-2 on the season.

Jason Vargas will follow Shields in the Kansas City rotation and is 2-0 with a 1.54 earned run average through five starts. Vargas did not receive a decision in last Wednesday's 5-3 loss at Cleveland and lasted six innings, allowing three runs (2 earned) and six hits.

Vargas, a left-hander, was coming off seven scoreless innings versus Minnesota on April 18 and is 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA in five outings. Vargas hasn't pitched well in his career against the Blue Jays and is 1-3 in six starts with a 5.67 ERA.

Toronto won four of six games against Kansas City a year ago and is 10-4 in the past 14 matchups between the two clubs.

Dustin McGowan (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)

Tonight's Blue Jays lineup vs. Royals

1. Jose Reyes-SS
2. Melky Cabrera-LF
3. Jose Bautista-RF
4. Edwin Encarnacion-1B
5. Dioner Navarro-C
6. Juan Francisco-DH
7. Brett Lawrie-3B
8. Colby Rasmus-CF
9. Chris Getz-2B
SP Dustin McGowan

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