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|TORONTO -- Jose Bautista drove in four runs and starter Mark
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TORONTO -- Jose Bautista drove in four runs and starter Mark Buehrle worked seven innings as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Chicago Cubs 9-2 on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre. Bautista cleared the bases with a double in the seventh inning off Chicago reliever Neil Ramirez to help Toronto (75-69) win its third straight game. Kevin Pillar and Edwin Encarnacion had three hits apiece for the Blue Jays, who turned the game into a rout with a five-run eighth inning. Toronto outhit Chicago 14-11 and will go for the three-game sweep on Wednesday night. It was an uneven performance from Buehrle (12-9), who allowed two earned runs and 10 hits but managed to avoid giving up a big inning. Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris each worked an inning of relief. The Blue Jays entered play five games behind Seattle in the race for the final wild-card spot in the American League. Toronto has won eight of 10 to keep its faint playoff hopes alive. The Cubs, who have dropped five games in a row, left 11 runners on base. Buehrle fanned leadoff man Chris Coghlan on three pitches to kick off the game on a cool, comfortable summer evening. Javier Baez followed with a double, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jorge Soler. Chicago (64-81) loaded the bases in the second inning after Buehrle gave up three singles. The veteran left-hander got out of the jam when Coghlan grounded out. Buehrle kept putting runners on but the defence did a nice job bailing him out. Welington Castillo led off the fourth with a single before Mike Olt and Arismendy Alcantara hit back-to-back line drives that were speared by third baseman Danny Valencia. Chris Valaika moved Castillo to second base with another single but Matt Szczur popped up to Buehrle to end the threat. Encarnacion drove a ball off the top of the wall to open the Toronto half of the fourth but settled for a long single. Adam Lind drew a walk but Dioner Navarro couldnt advance the runners, swinging at a 3-0 pitch and popping up in the infield. Valencia nearly put the Jays on the board but his line drive was snagged by a fully stretched Valaika at first base. Valaika threw to second to easily double off Encarnacion. The Cubs put runners on again in the fifth and this time cashed in a run. Baez singled and cleanup hitter Luis Valbuena was hit by a pitch. Castillo drove in Baez with a two-out single before Olt struck out. The Blue Jays tried a more aggressive style against Chicago starter Jake Arrieta in the bottom half of the frame. Pillar led off with a single but was thrown out trying to steal. Ryan Goins then drove a ball into left-centre field and hustled into second base just ahead of Coghlans throw. Anthony Gose tried to bunt with two strikes but fouled a pitch for the second out. Goins moved to third base on a wild pitch and scored when Jose Reyes hit a flare that dropped in shallow centre field. Arrieta was wide with a pickoff attempt and the ball rolled into foul territory, allowing Reyes to scamper all the way to third. He was left stranded when Bautista flew out, with the Toronto slugger angrily slamming his bat to the turf as he left the batters box. The Cubs stranded two more runners in the sixth inning after Szczur and Coghlan reached on back-to-back two-out singles. Pitching coach Pete Walker came out to the mound and Buehrle responded by freezing Baez with a fastball for the strikeout. Pillar stroked a one-out single in the seventh to knock Arrieta out of the game. Ramirez (2-2) came on in relief and gave up a single to pinch-hitter Colby Rasmus and a walk to pinch-hitter Munenori Kawasaki. Ramirez fanned Reyes and worked a full count on Bautista before the Toronto slugger hit his 26th double of the season. The Blue Jays piled on in the eighth against right-hander Brian Schlitter. Lind led off with a triple and was replaced by pinch-runner Steve Tolleson, who scored on a Navarro single. Navarro moved to third on a Valencia double and Rasmus was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs. Kawasaki hit a two-run single to help put the game out of reach. Arrieta allowed seven hits, two earned runs and a walk while striking out five. Buehrle had three strikeouts and didnt walk a batter. Announced attendance was 17,903 and the game took three hours four minutes to play. Notes: The roof was open despite the occasional presence of dark swirling clouds overhead. ... Toronto Argonauts slotback Andre Durie threw the ceremonial first pitch. ... Encarnacion was originally pencilled in as the first baseman but was moved to designated hitter about an hour before the game. Lind moved from DH to first base. ... Right-hander Drew Hutchison (9-11, 4.47 ERA) will get the start in the series finale against Chicagos Kyle Hendricks (6-1, 2.02). ... This is the first series the Cubs have played on artificial turf since a six-game road trip to Toronto and Tampa Bay in 2008 -- a stretch of 1,040 games on natural grass fields. ... The Blue Jays are off Thursday and will wrap up the six-game homestand with a weekend series against the Rays. ... Toronto entered play with a 1.6 per cent chance of reaching the playoffs, according to Baseball Prospectus post-season probabilities listed on the Major League Baseball website. Steve Yzerman Jersey . Some members of the U.S. Congress arent so sure. They say Russia isnt doing enough to assure that athletes will be protected at the Feb. 7-23 games, happening not far from an Islamic insurgency that Russias huge security apparatus has struggled for two decades to quell. Russia may run greater risks in towns outside the tightly controlled Olympic zone. Suicide bombs last month a few hundred kilometres (miles) away have increased concerns, and an Islamic warlord has urged his followers to attack the Sochi Olympics, Russian President Vladimir Putins pet project. Curtis Joseph Jersey .Pete Morelli said the back judge threw a flag on Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens on a pass to Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew in Dallas 24-20 wild-card win Sunday. But the head linesman said there wasnt enough contact and that Hitchens was face-guarding, which isnt a penalty in the NFL. http://www.redwingshockeyauthentic.com/ ... ersey/.com) - Top seed Klara Zakopalova reached the second round, while former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone came up a loser Tuesday at the inaugural Rio Open tennis event. Alex Delvecchio Red Wings Jersey . 1 overall pick in the draft by the Houston Texans, is recovering from sports hernia surgery. Kris Draper Red Wings Jersey . But history aside, theyre still happy to participate in the Par 3 contest, traditionally held on the day prior to the first round of the Masters. KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Royals had scored just eight runs during a four-game losing streak, and were preparing to face former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke and the power-packed Los Angeles Dodgers. Perfect time to end that slump, eh? Jeremy Guthrie pitched into the eighth inning, Jarrod Dyson drove in two runs off Greinke and the Royals held on to beat the Dodgers 5-3 on Monday night in their first meeting in nine years. "Dont ask me why we had success tonight," Royals manager Ned Yost said drily. Dyson, the Royals No. 9 hitter, went 3 for 3 and stole two bases. Salvador Perez hit a solo home run, and Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar -- two of the players acquired by the Royals in the trade that sent Greinke to Milwaukee in December 2010 -- drove in a run apiece. It was an offensive outburst considering the Royals had lost three of their last four games by 2-1 scores, squandering solid pitching performances by their starting rotation. "There was never any panic," said Guthrie, who gave up two runs and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings to win his third straight start. "We lost a couple of close games. We recognize a couple things go our way we would have won a couple of them." Greg Holland served up a homer to Adrian Gonzalez in the ninth before earning his 22nd save. Hanley Ramirez drove in the other two runs for the Dodgers, who are visiting Kansas City for the first time since they were swept in a three-game set in 2005. In his third start against his former team, Greinke (9-4) was battered for a season-high five runs and 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings. He had allowed two runs over 15 1-3 innings in his previous two starts against the Royals, one with the Brewers and the other with the Los Angeles Angels. "I thought he was OK," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "There were a few balls where you could see where he was trying to go one place and it didnt end up there. I know a couple of those were to Dyson. I think some of the balls were trying to get to a different part of the plate and didnt get there." The Royals pounded Greinke almost from the start, Perez belting the first pitcch of the second inning over the wall in left field for a 1-0 lead.dddddddddddd Then with two outs, Escobar singled and went to second on a wild pitch before heading home when Dyson dumped a single into left field. Dyson made it 3-0 in the fifth when he scored on Cains single to right. The Royals finally knocked Greinke from the game in the fifth, this time after Perez started the inning with a double. Greinke fought back to get two outs, but Escobar hit a triple into the right-field corner and Dyson tacked on another RBI single to make it 5-0. That hit ended Greinkes night. As he departed the mound, fans showered him with a chorus of boos, clearly recalling how the right-hander once demanded to be traded from their team. "I was pretty rude on the way out. They have every right to be mad at me," Greinke said. "Its been awhile. Its been four years, so its been awhile. Theyve moved on by now and so have I. At least team-wise. The fans might be different." Meanwhile, those same fans were waiting to give Guthrie a standing ovation. The right-hander faced the minimum number of hitters through four innings, needing just four pitches in the second and five in the fourth. Gonzalez and Matt Kemp finally hit consecutive singles to start the fifth, but Guthrie calmly wiggled out of that jam. It wasnt until Miguel Rojas and Justin Turner hit singles and Ramirez one-hopped a double over the outfield wall to make it 5-2 in the eighth that Guthrie finally left the game. Wade Davis finished the inning, and Holland cleaned up the ninth to preserve the win. "Its a funny game. You go against a guy like Zack Greinke whos had so much success this year," Yost said. "We strung some hits together along with some outstanding pitching weve had the last five or six starts, its a big win for us tonight." NOTES: LHP Clayton Kershaw was the NL player of the week after his no-hitter against Colorado. He starts for Los Angeles on Tuesday against Royals LHP Danny Duffy. ... Kemp extended his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Guthrie struck out five without a walk. ... The Dodgers had won seven straight interleague ' ' '
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