for this game

Nunez lifts Royals past Blue Jays

Aug 12, 2007 - 4:01 AM KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Leo Nunez continued to impress as a starter.

Nunez pitched six effective innings in just his third career start and rookie Alex Gordon belted a two-run homer to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

The 23-year-old Nunez (2-0), who has come out of the bullpen for most of his three-year career with the Royals, yielded just one run and two hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

"I figured out that in the second inning when Glaus fouled off a bunch of pitches that I needed to keep the ball down more and try to get more contact," Nunez said through an interpreter. "I got more control of my pitches and threw more strikes."

"Man, it was outstanding," Royals manager Buddy Bell said of Nunez's performance. "He doesn't back down from anybody. We've always known he could compete but he's been unable to keep the ball down in the zone consistently. But he's been able to do it since we've had him up here starting."

In his first start since July 29, the Dominican righthander did not allow a hit until Vernon Wells hit a double with two outs in the fourth inning. Nunez's biggest mistake came in the fifth inning with Gregg Zaun blasted a solo shot to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.

Nunez has been fantastic as a starter, surrendering just two runs and 11 hits over 16 innings in three starts this season.

"I'm happy for Nunnie," Bell said. "When we look at him, we look at him as a bullpen guy, but I'm starting to change my mind."

"He's been great," Gordon said. "We put him the bullpen, he comes out and done well. We throw him out there to start a game and every time he's been out there, he's been lights out, whether it's in the pen or starting a game, he's been doing it all for us."

Gordon crushed a 2-1 offering from Dustin McGowan (8-6) over the right field wall and into the water spectacular for his ninth home run of 2007 to open the Royals' advantage to 4-1.

"The whole time I was being patient just thinking about my pitch," Gordon said. "He threw me a couple of fastballs to hit and then he threw me another one."

"He hit a fastball down the middle," McGowan said. "When I fell behind 2-1, I was trying to get the count back in my favor."

Gordon, who went 3-for-3, tripled to center after the ball bounced of the glove of center fielder Wells' outstretched arm in the fifth. After John Buck popped out, Joey Gathright drove in Gordon with a base hit and later scored on David DeJesus' sacrifice fly.

"He gives us a lot with his ability," Gordon said of Gathright. "Even when he's not getting the hits, he's creating things on the basepaths. He does a lot for us. It's always good to have that kind of speed on your team."

David Riske pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings before Joakim Soria pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to register his 13th save this season. Gathright helped Soria by making a spectacular leaping catch at the left field wall to rob Aaron Hill of a two-run homer and end the game.

"I don't know," Gathright said when asked if Hill's ball was out of the park. "They said it would have been though."

McGowan, who made his first career start against Kansas City, lost for the first time in his last four starts, allowing four runs and six hits with four strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings.

"They pitched pretty good," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "And we pitched as good but not as well."

Troy Glaus recorded two hits for Toronto, which was attempting to win its third consecutive game.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 4 0
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 x 4 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - DUSTIN MCGOWAN, BRIAN TALLET (7TH), BRIAN WOLFE (8TH) AND
    GREGG ZAUN
    KAN - LEO NUNEZ, DAVID RISKE (7TH), JOAKIM SORIA (8TH)
    AND JOHN BUCK

    HOME RUNS: TOR -

    Aug 11 9:57 PM
  • 5
    roots
    creepyguy Added 5 roots

    Blue Jays vs. RoyalsAug 11 9:21 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALEX GORDON (9) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF DUSTIN MCGOWAN SCORED BILLY BUTLER.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1, KANSAS CITY 4
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J BUCK (.233, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. RoyalsAug 11 9:01 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY DAVID DEJESUS SCORED JOEY GATHRIGHT.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T PENA JR ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    KANSAS CITY 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M GRUDZIELANEK (.301, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. RoyalsAug 11 8:37 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOEY GATHRIGHT SCORED ALEX GORDON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J GATHRIGHT ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1
    KANSAS CITY 1 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: T PENA JR (.275, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. RoyalsAug 11 8:31 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY GREGG ZAUN (6) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 5TH OFF LEO NUNEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 1, KANSAS CITY 0
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: J MCDONALD (.272, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. RoyalsAug 11 8:21 PM