Danny Jansen hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, Cavan Biggio launched his first career grand slam and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 7-5 Saturday after starter Marcus Stroman exited early with a cramp in his non-pitching shoulder.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. added a solo home run for the Blue Jays, who recovered after blowing a one-run lead in the top of the ninth.
With closer Ken Giles apparently unavailable after finishing Friday’s game, Toronto gave right-hander Daniel Hudson (5-2) his third save opportunity of the season.
Billy Hamilton led off with a single, Whit Merrifield walked and both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt before Alex Gordon tied it with a sacrifice fly. The blown save was Hudson’s second.
Giles rejoined the Blue Jays on June 19 after missing 10 games because of a sore elbow. He has yet to pitch on consecutive days since his return.
Randal Grichuk drew a leadoff walk against right-hander Scott Barlow (2-3) in the bottom half. One out later, Jansen lined a two-run homer to left field, his fourth.
Stroman left two pitches into the fifth with what the team called a left shoulder pectoral cramp.
Guerrero homered in the third and fellow rookie Biggio hit a go-ahead slam in the fifth for his sixth home run. Guerrero’s homer, his eighth, was his first since June 5, snapping an 18-game drought.
Both drives came off right-hander Homer Bailey, who was making his first career start against the Blue Jays.
A 12-year National League veteran, Bailey faced both Craig Biggio and Vladimir Guerrero Sr. earlier in his career, allowing just one hit in six at-bats to the two Hall of Famers.
Stopping their sons proved more difficult.
Bailey came in having won three straight starts but couldn’t extend his streak. He allowed five runs and five hits in five innings.
Stroman motioned to the dugout after missing high to Whit Merrifield in the fifth. Toronto trainer Nicky Huffman and manager Charlie Montoyo came to the mound and, following a brief discussion, Stroman walked off and went straight to the clubhouse.
He allowed three runs and four hits in four-plus innings. The right-hander was replaced by Sam Gaviglio.
Stroman is 5-9 with a 3.18 ERA in 18 starts and is expected to be traded to a contender before the July 31 deadline. He’s eligible for arbitration for the final time next year and can become a free agent following the 2020 season.
Merrifield doubled on Stroman’s first pitch and scored when the pitcher made an errant throw to first on Nicky Lopez’s bunt single. Lopez later scored on a two-out single by Lucas Duda.
Guerrero’s homer cut the deficit in half but Martin Maldonado made it 3-1 with a homer in the fourth, his second in two games.
Hunter Dozier made it 4-1 with an RBI double off Gaviglio in the fifth. Biggio connected for a two-out drive in the bottom half, giving Toronto the lead.