(The Sports Xchange) - The Toronto Blue Jays backed up the acquisition of ace pitcher David Price from the Detroit Tigers on Thursday afternoon by blasting three home runs to defeat the Kansas City Royals 5-2 in the evening.
The capture of Price came two days after a trade with the Colorado Rockies took shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and right-handed reliever LaTroy Hawkins to the club, who hope the new recruits will help them go deep into the playoffs.
Early indications suggest the team have responded positively with catcher Dioner Navarro blasting a two-run homer in the second inning to give the Blue Jays a lead they never relinquished.
“It’s exciting, it doesn’t get any better than that,” Navarro said. “They’ve been doing a great work in the front office and we’re excited with what we’ve got.”
Designated hitter Russell Martin and third baseman Josh Donaldson added solo shots for the Blue Jays.
The Royals’ two runs were scored off Marco Estrada (8-6) in the first inning and the right-hander allowed three hits, walked none and struck out three in 5 2/3 innings.
“I thought before we made the moves we were a really good team and we just got better,” Estrada said. “Adding LaTroy, Tulowitzki and now David Price. That’s pretty incredible... we’re all pretty excited.”
The loss in the opener of a four-game series was the second in a row for the Royals (61-40) while the Blue Jays (52-51) won their second straight.
The Royals took the lead in first inning on a two-run double by designated hitter Kendrys Morales after center fielder Lorenzo Cain was hit by a pitch and first baseman Eric Hosmer singled.
“Even in the first, I thought I made some decent pitches,” said Estrada, who then retired 15 batters in a row before allowing a single to Cain with two out in the sixth.
The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the first after Tulowitzki was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, took third on a double by Donaldson and scored on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Jose Bautista.
Toronto then took a 3-2 lead in the second on the third homer of the season by Navarro following a leadoff single by center fielder Kevin Pillar.
Martin hit his 15th homer of the season on a 2-0 fastball with one out in the third to stretch the lead and Donaldson made it 5-2 with his 25th homer of the season, hitting a curveball into the second deck on the left with two outs in the fourth.
Editing by John O'Brien