(Sports Network) - Veteran lefty Mark Buehrle can stay unbeaten since July
when the Toronto Blue Jays host the Kansas City Royals in the opener of a
three-game series at Rogers Centre.
The 34-year-old Texan fell to 5-7 on the season with a 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay
on July 20, but is 5-0 in seven appearances since - including a 2-1 win at
Houston in his last start.
He pitched a solid eight innings and allowed just a run on seven hits against
the Astros in improving his record to 10-7 for 2013 - marking the 13th
straight season he's reached double digits.
Buehrle is 22-12 in 51 career appearances against the Royals with a 3.73
earned run average.
In 13 home starts this year in Toronto, he's 7-2 with a 2.94 ERA.
He's opposed by 30-year-old Dominican Ervin Santana, who's winless in four
starts since defeating the New York Mets on Aug. 4.
Santana gave up a single run in six innings of that game, but has failed to
win since while allowing 13 runs on 32 hits in 22 1/3 innings.
He lost a 2-0 decision to the Chicago White Sox in Aug. 20, alongside no-
decisions against Boston, Miami and Washington.
In 15 career starts against Toronto, Santana is 6-5 with three complete games
and a 3.73 ERA.
On Thursday in Minnesota, Bruce Chen tossed one-run ball into the sixth, and a
big second inning staked Kansas City to a 3-1 decision over Minnesota to
finish off a three-game sweep.
Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar and Chris Getz knocked in a run each in the
deciding frame for the Royals, who finished the year a franchise-best 15-4
against their long-time division rivals. KC won its final seven contests at
Target Field this year, finishing 8-2 on the road in the season series.
Chen (6-2) scattered five hits and fanned three over 5 2/3 innings, while
three relievers including Greg Holland -- who picked up his 36th save --
combined to hold Minnesota hitless over the final 3 1/3.
On Wednesday in Toronto, the Blue Jays rode an early surge to a 7-2 win over
the New York Yankees in the rubber match of a three-game series.
The Blue Jays wasted little time jumping on a suddenly scuffling Hiroki Kuroda
(11-10), who lasted five innings and for the second straight start allowed
seven runs, five of which were earned, and nine hits.
"Two out of three from the Red Sox and two out of three from the Yankees in
two home series, I think the crowd has liked that," said Toronto manager John
The Blue Jays won two of three when the teams last played, from April 12 to 14
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