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Bluejays Use Long Ball to Win Series Opener

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Cavan Biggio hit the go-ahead homer in the eighth inning, Randal Grichuk and Teoscar Hernandez also went deep, and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied past the Kansas City Royals 7-3 on Monday night.

Top prospect Bo Bichette singled in the first at-bat of his big league career, and the Blue Jays got a strong spot start from Thomas Pannone in the opener of a 10-game trip.

Tim Mayza (1-1) earned the victory with a scoreless inning of relief.

Brad Keller (7-10) let just three balls out of the infield until Hernandez’s tying home run in the fifth inning. The right-hander went on to allow three homers in a game for the first time in his career, and four runs total in seven-plus innings.

Pannone, who was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo before the game, gave the Blue Jays six competitive innings. The left-hander allowed three runs and five hits.

The Royals didn’t get a hit off Pannone until Cam Gallagher’s one-out double off the top of the wall in left in the third. Whit Merrifield followed with a single to give Kansas City the lead.

Keller, who fanned four of his first five batters, was cruising along until Hernandez came up in the fifth. He sent a mistake splashing into the fountains an estimated 450 feet from home plate.

Biggio then led off the sixth with a single. Grichuk turned on a 2-1 pitch moments later, sending it over the left-field wall for his 17th homer.

Keller, who came into the game with the third-stingiest home run rate in the majors, breezed through the seventh inning and manager Ned Yost left him in to start the eighth. That’s when Biggio followed up a deep foul ball with an even deeper fair one for a solo shot that gave the Blue Jays the lead again.

Toronto tacked on three more runs in the ninth to put the game away.


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