TORONTO (AP) — New Toronto reliever Mark Lowe will want to wipe away the bad memories from his Blue Jays debut as soon as possible.
Ben Zobrist hit solo home runs from both sides of the plate, Eric Hosmer singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Kansas City Royals beat Lowe and the Blue Jays 7-6 on Saturday to snap a three-game losing streak.
Lowe (0-2) was charged with three runs in one inning after allowing just four in 34 prior appearances this season.
“That’s not going to make or break his career in Toronto,” manager John Gibbons said of Lowe’s tough outing.
One of five players acquired by the Blue Jays in a busy week of deals leading up to Friday’s non-waiver deadline, Lowe had his worst outing since giving up four runs on May 15, 2013, also against Kansas City.
“I wasn’t ahead of guys as well as I normally was,” Lowe said.
Still, he wasn’t getting down on himself.
“I have the reliever mentality,” Lowe explained. “The sun’s going to come up tomorrow and we’ve got a brand-new game.”
Zobrist, who went 3 for 4 and scored three runs, homered from the right side in the first and doubled and scored in the sixth.
“It feels incredible,” Zobrist said.
Zobrist turned around to the left side and tied it at 5 with a drive to right off Lowe in the eighth. Lorenzo Cain doubled and scored on Hosmer’s base hit, Kendrys Morales singled Hosmer to third and Salvador Perez hit a sacrifice fly.
“We had to have this one today,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Yordano Ventura (6-7) gave up five runs and six hits in seven innings to win back-to-back starts for the first time since April.
Wade Davis worked the eighth and Greg Holland pitched around a walk and a single for his 23rd save. Josh Donaldson grounded out to end it, stranding the tying run at third as Toronto fell to 11-23 in one-run games.
Jose Bautista hit two solo homers and Josh Donaldson added a two-run drive, but Toronto’s winning streak ended at three.
Bautista connected off Davis in the eighth, the first home run allowed by the Royals reliever in 125 2-3 innings. Davis hadn’t given up a homer since Washington’s Ian Desmond hit one off him on Aug. 24, 2013, Davis’ most recent start.
“Wade is the best setup man in the game,” Yost said. “He really does a great job of limiting the extra base hits.”
Edwin Encarnacion almost went back-to-back with Bautista, but his drive to center was caught on the warning track.
Toronto’s Mark Buehrle set down 15 of 16 following Zobrist’s one-out drive in the first.
Ventura started even stronger, retiring the first 11 batters he faced. That streak ended when the Blue Jays strung together four straight singles in the fourth, including RBI hits by Justin Smoak and Dioner Navarro.
Toronto made it 5-1 in the fifth on back-to-back home runs by Donaldson, a two-run drive into the second deck, and Bautista. It was the sixth time this season the Blue Jays have hit consecutive home runs.
Kansas City answered in the sixth when Buehrle’s throwing error opened the door for a three-run rally. Hosmer extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a two-run single and Kendrys Morales drove in the third run with a base hit to right.
A four-time Gold Glove winner, Buehrle said he was embarrassed by his error.
“It kind of unfolded after that,” he said.
Buehrle allowed four runs and five hits in seven innings.