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Jays turn to Stroman amidst two-game losing streak vs. Royals

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The Sports Network
5/31/2014 9:30:59 AM
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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Blue Jays will try to figure out the Kansas City Royals on Saturday when the two teams meet at Rogers Centre.

The Blue Jays hope to follow the lead of prospect Marcus Stroman, making the first start of his Major League career, pushing Drew Hutchison back to Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers.

Stroman, a 23-year-old righty, struggled in five relief appearances with the Blue Jays earlier this month, giving up nine earned runs over 6 1/3 innings while opponents hit .419 against him.

In seven starts at Triple-A Buffalo this year, Stroman has gone 2-4 with a 3.03 ERA.

"We want to get Stroman up here to give him a look," Gibbons told his team's official website. "And the thinking was, we'll back Hutchison off a couple of days. (Mark) Buehrle will start Sunday, Hutchison on Tuesday in Detroit. We've been trying to pick some spots, give Hutch a little breather. After his last start, I thought he looked a little bit tired. We thought it would be a perfect time to give him a couple of extra days."

Hutchison gave up five earned runs over five innings in his last start on Monday versus Tampa Bay.

Kansas City took the first two contests of this four-game set with an 8-6 win in extra innings on Thursday and a 6-1 victory on Friday night.

Lorenzo Cain nearly single-handedly led the Royals to victory on Friday, going 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI. Billy Butler also went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and Alex Gordon blasted his fourth home run of the season as well.

"This is more of the offense that we envisioned coming out of spring training," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Jason Vargas earned his fifth win of the season as the starter, limiting the Blue Jays to just one run, while matching seven hits with as many strikeouts.

"Vargas keeps you off-balance," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "If you're sitting on a pitch, you don't get it."

Jose Bautista provided the only offense for the Blue Jays with his 14th home run of the season. J.A. Happ took the loss, laboring through 7 2/3 innings during which he gave up six runs on nine hits.

Toronto has dropped back-to-back games after winning nine straight contests.

Kansas City will turn to Aaron Brooks on Saturday. Brooks will be making his first MLB start, having just a single relief appearance to his name this season, his first in the majors.

In his only other outing the 24-year-old let up six runs on seven hits over two innings during a 9-2 loss to Detroit on May 3.

Brooks, who was drafted in the ninth round of the 2011 amateur draft out of Cal State San Bernardino, was 4-1 with a 3.12 ERA in eight games for Triple-A Omaha this season.

The Royals have won three of the first five games between these teams this season.

Marcus Stroman  (Photo: Mark Cunningham/Getty Images Sport)

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(Photo: Mark Cunningham/Getty Images Sport)

Today's Blue Jays lineup vs. Royals

1. Jose Reyes-SS
2. Melky Cabrera-LF
3. Jose Bautista-RF
4. Edwin Encarnacion-DH
5. Adam Lind-1B
6. Brett Lawrie-2B
7. Juan Francisco-3B
8. Dioner Navarro-C
9. Anthony Gose-CF
SP Marcus Stroman

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