KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Kansas City Royals committed three errors in their first nine games.
They had that many in the first three innings Friday night.
Along with a shaky start from Luis Mendoza, that balky defense ultimately doomed the Royals to an 8-4 loss to Toronto in a game that will be remembered more for a potentially devastating injury to Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes than anything else.
Reyes was attempting to steal second in the sixth inning when he started his slide late. The four-time All-Star's left ankle twisted awkwardly beneath him as he slid over the bag, and trainers from both teams ran out to help as Reyes screamed in pain on the infield dirt.
The initial diagnosis was a sprained ankle, but Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Reyes would have an MRI exam and could be out anywhere from four weeks to three months.
``I'll have to see the replay,' Royals manager Ned Yost said, ``but he slid real late.'
Reyes, Adam Lind and Emilio Bonifacio each drove in two runs for the Blue Jays, who hammered Mendoza (0-1) for eight runs - seven of them earned - in just 5 2-3 innings.
``He really struggled to get the feel of his breaking ball, struggled to keep it down in the zone,' Yost said. ``There were some times he was trying to bounce it and couldn't do it. It was just one of those nights. He wasn't near as sharp as he was in Philly.'
Toronto's J.A. Happ (2-0), the only Blue Jays starter to win this season, gave up three runs on 41 pitches in the first inning, but still lasted four more innings to pick up the victory.
Aaron Loup pitched the final three innings for his first career save.
Lorenzo Cain drove in a pair of runs for Kansas City, which couldn't overcome Mendoza's shaky start and their even shakier defense: The Royals have now committed six errors in three games.
``We made some plays that weren't so pretty,' Yost said. ``We threw the ball around a little bit, and that happens on occasion, but you won't see it very often with us.'
Toronto struck first for just the second time all season when J.P. Arencibia's single to left and a double by Lind down the right-field line gave the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.
The Royals answered back with three in the bottom half.
Salvador Perez's single to right drove in the first run. Happ loaded the bases moments later, earning a visit from Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker, and then watched Cain smack the first pitch he saw to center field to give Kansas City a 3-2 lead.
Bonifacio pulled the Blue Jays back ahead in the second when he doubled off the wall in right to drive in a run. The speedster headed for third on the throw to the plate, and then scored when Perez threw the ball down the left-field line - the catcher's second error of the game.
Lind delivered a sacrifice fly in the third to extend the Blue Jays' lead, and Alcides Escobar matched him with a double in the fifth to pull Kansas City back within 5-4.
Bonifacio's two-out double in the sixth gave Toronto its two-run cushion back. Luke Hochevar came in to relieve Mendoza, and Reyes followed with a two-run single to make the score 8-4.
That's when the star shortstop attempted to steal second.
The momentum of his late slide carried him over the base, and his ankle twisted backward as second base umpire Marvin Hudson signaled safe. Reyes screamed in pain, and then pulled the front of his blue jersey over his face as trainers from both teams ran out onto the infield.
Reyes remained down for several minutes, writhing in pain. He was eventually loaded into a cart and driven out through the bullpen in right field before the game could resume.
He was pushed out of the stadium in a wheelchair shortly after the final out.
``It's part of the game. You never want to see it, but at the same time, you've been through enough to know it's going to happen over the course of the season,' Anthopoulos said.
``If it's good news, you're looking at four weeks. The other scenario could be three months or if something comes up we're not expecting, it could be more than that.'
Notes: Anthopoulos said no decision has been made on who will replace Reyes, though it's possible a move will be made Saturday. ... Toronto will start RHP R.A. Dickey on Saturday night against Royals RHP James Shields. ... Mendoza will skip his next start because of days off in the Royals' upcoming schedule. Yost said he'll spend a couple days in the bullpen.
The Associated Press News Service
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