Royals’ Alex Gordon hits eighth-inning homer to break MLB record in losing effort

Gordon’s shot was 5,694th of season; Royals fall to Blue Jays 5-2

Kansas City’s Lorenzo Cain strikes out against Toronto during the sixth inning Tuesday in Toronto. The Royals lost 5-2. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO — Marcus Stroman pitched seven innings to win for the first time in six starts, Darwin Barney hit a two-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 5-2 on Tuesday night.

 

Kansas City outfielder Alex Gordon’s solo home run off Ryan Tepera in the eighth was the 5,694th of this major league season, breaking the record set in 2000 at the height of the Steroids Era. The record was broken with just less than two weeks remaining in the regular season.

There were 5,610 homers last year, an average of 2.31 per game, and this year’s average of 2.53 entering Tuesday projects to 6,139. That would be up 47 percent from 4,186 in 2014.

Barney went 2 for 3 with three RBIs as the Blue Jays opened their final homestand on a winning note.

Stroman (12-8) allowed one run and four hits for his first victory since Aug. 16 against Tampa Bay.

Tepera pitched the eighth and Roberto Osuna finished for his 37th save in 47 chances.

Barney reached second base on a one-out throwing error by third baseman Mike Moustakas in the third but appeared to forget how many outs there were and was doubled off on Teoscar Hernadez’s liner to center.

That was the first of seven consecutive batters retired by Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy, a streak that ended when Ryan Goins singled to begin the sixth. Barney fell behind 2-0 against Kennedy, then fouled off three straight pitches before homering into the left field bullpen.

Making his first start since Sept. 8 after missing a turn because of a sore shoulder, Kennedy (4-12) allowed two runs and three hits in five-plus innings. He walked none and struck out two.

Winless in nine starts, Kennedy is 0-6 with an 8.29 ERA since his last victory, July 26 at Detroit.

Toronto pulled away with a three-run seventh. Russell Martin hit a two-run double off Scott Alexander and Barney greeted Brandon Maurer with an RBI single.

Jose Bautista struck out twice, giving him 159 for the year and matching Jose Canseco (1998) and Kelly Johnson (2012) for the highest season total in Blue Jays history.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: C Salvador Perez (pulled side muscle) and OF Lorenzo Cain (rest) returned to the lineup after sitting out Sunday’s loss at Cleveland. Moustakas (right knee), who was limited to pinch-hitting duties Sunday, also started for Kansas City.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Jakob Junis (7-2, 4.15) is 4-0 with a 2.35 ERA over his past seven starts. Junis has won five straight decisions and is unbeaten since June 29 at Detroit.

Blue Jays: LHP Brett Anderson (3-3, 5.73) was bothered by a blister during his previous outing, Sept. 14 at Minnesota, but was able to throw a bullpen session Sunday.

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