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Lawrie's HR sends Blue Jays past Royals

Aug 25, 2011 - 2:59 AM Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Brett Lawrie cracked the eventual game-winning home run in the bottom of the seventh, sending the Toronto Blue Jays to a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals in the middle tilt of a three-game series at Rogers Centre.

Jose Bautista crushed a two-run homer, his major league-leading 37th, while Lawrie also tripled in a run. Edwin Encarnacion and Yunel Escobar added hits for the Blue Jays, winners in seven of their last 11 games.

Jesse Litsch (5-3) gave up a hit in one inning of relief to earn the win and Frank Francisco tossed a scoreless ninth to earn his 11th save of the season.

Louis Coleman (1-3) absorbed the loss after surrendering Lawrie's blast.

Billy Butler had three hits and two RBI, while Alex Gordon cracked a solo homer and scored three times for the Royals, who had won the series opener Tuesday behind Bruce Chen.

The Royals put the potential tying run on base in the ninth when Melky Cabrera worked a leadoff walk. After Butler lined out, Cabrera moved into scoring position with a steal of second. He was stranded there, though, as Francisco fanned Eric Hosmer and got Jeff Francoeur to line out to right to end the game.

Kansas City jumped out in front in its first at-bat, when Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero hit Gordon with his first pitch of the game. After he struck out Cabrera, Butler ripped a double to center to chase home Gordon.

The Royals wasted a scoring opportunity in the second, stranding runners on first and second, but they added another run during the next inning when Butler again drove home Gordon -- this time with a single to left.

"I thought we battled our tails off out there," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We got a couple of runs early. I didn't feel like it got away, I feel like we got beat."

Toronto shook off the early deficit and took a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Yunel Escobar was hit by a pitch and Bautista followed by barreling-up a hanging curveball from Luke Hochevar, sending it deep into the seats in left. Encarnacion singled two batters later and came home on a triple into the left- center field gap by Lawrie.

Gordon tied the game in the fifth, when he led off by crushing a Romero offering to right, his 17th homer of the season.

Kansas City squandered another scoring opportunity in the seventh, when Butler doubled to lead off and moved to third on a groundout by Hosmer. Butler was stranded there, however, as Litsch fanned Francoeur and induced a flyout from Johnny Giavotella to keep the game tied.

Game Notes

Hochevar gave up three runs on four hits over six innings. He made his team- leading 27th start of the season. Despite getting a no-decision, he is 3-1 in five career starts against the Blue Jays...Encarnacion snapped an 0-for-12 slump with a single in the fourth...The teams have split the season series so far, 3-3...Romero gave up three runs on eight hits over six innings. He walked four and struck out three.