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ot birdie putt on the par-4 12th and a 10-

Postby kaisy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:11 am

TORONTO -- Canadian pitcher Jeff Francis made the most of his first career start in his home country. The left-hander from North Delta, B.C., pitched six strong innings Thursday and Kansas City supported him with 16 hits, including Melky Cabreras homer, as the Royals defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 9-6 in the rubber match of a three-game series. Blue Jays manager John Farrell left the game in the ninth inning for medical examination after experience muscular pain in his left side below the rib cage. Designated hitter Billy Butler had four hits including a two-run double in the eighth inning against reliever Shawn Camp to lead the Royals offence. Francis (5-14) ended a personal three-game losing streak as he held the Blue Jays to six hits and two runs, both on the 20th homer of the season by catcher J.P. Arencibia in the seventh inning. He struck out five. "There was a lot of family that came to watch, not only in the building but on TV," said Francis who was chased in the seventh when he failed to get an out from his three batters. "But once I get out there its like every other game. It was a good day." Francis brother and niece came down from Montreal, while several former teammates from the University of British Columbia and members of his wifes family who live in Ontario also attended the game. "I know hes real excited," Royals right-fielder Jeff Francoeur said. "He had about 15 or 16 family members here tonight. It means a lot. Its like any time I go back to Atlanta, where Im from, its a big deal. I couldnt be happier for him. He did a great job for us tonight and gave us a huge two out of three up here against a tough team." His two previous outings against the Blue Jays were at Coors Field when he was with the Colorado Rockies in 2006 and in 2010 and he is 3-0 with 2.37 earned-run average against them after Thursdays game. Toronto left-hander Brett Cecil (4-7) allowed nine hits and five runs in 6 1/3 innings. Cabreras homer ended his outing in the seventh. "The fastball Melky hit just cut back over the plate," Cecil said. "I was missing, not so much up, just missing location." Edwin Encarnacion hit his 13th homer of the season against Joakim Soria with two out in the ninth to score two runs for Toronto. "Francis pitched great," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He came back to his home country and really did a nice job of keeping them off-balance. He worked down good tonight, really changed speeds well." "It was nice to come out and throw some zeroes up early in the game and get out to a lead," Francis said, "And really just try and settle in, throw a lot of strikes and let the defence do their job. They sure did. I was throwing strikes with everything." The Royals (54-77) reached Cecil for a run in the third on a leadoff double by Salvador Perez and a two-out single by Johnny Giavotella. The Blue Jays (66-64) could not take advantage of a two-out triple by Eric Thames in the home third. Jose Bautista was walked intentionally for the 19th time this year and Encarnacion, who batted fourth with Adam Lind dropped to fifth, flew out to right. The Royals added a run in the fourth on a leadoff double by Butler that dropped just fair between charging second baseman Kelly Johnson, making his Blue Jays debut, and right-fielder Bautista. Mike Moustakas singled him home with two out. Cabrera hit the Royals third leadoff double of the game in the sixth, took third on Butlers single and scored on a one-out single up the middle by Francoeur to put Kansas City ahead 3-0. The Blue Jays could not take advantage of Bautistas leadoff double in the sixth. Francis struck out Encarnacion and Lind before ending the inning on a fly to the centre-field wall by Brett Lawrie, who also hails from the Vancouver area. "After that leadoff double by Bautista in the sixth inning I got the next couple of guys to strike out," Francis said. "Those were big pitches, big outs that kind of turned the game in our favour." Johnson led off the home seventh with his first Blue Jay hit and Arencibia homered to cut Kansas Citys lead to 5-2. Francis was removed after Mike McCoys single. Greg Holland took over. The Royals scored twice in the eighth to lead 7-2 and the Blue Jays again cut the lead to three in the home half of the inning on Encarnacions double, Lawries triple and Arencibias sacrifice fly. "I know what kind of hitter (Lawrie) is, not only for that team but this whole country," Francis said. "They sure love him here and they should." Arencibia dropped a foul ball in the ninth and Moustakas took advantage of the reprieve to drive in a run with a double against Rommie Lewis. Maier lined a sacrifice fly to right as Bautista made a superb catch over his head. Johnson, who was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks for second baseman Aaron Hill and infielder John McDonald, batted seventh. He was 1-for-2 with two walks and cut a runner down at home in the field. Johnson had an interesting two days after the trade. The Diamondbacks were in Washington when the trade took place and he learned of it about the time the earthquake hit. "Actually, right after I found out I was traded I was in my hotel, I was on the phone with my agent and the room was just rocking and shaking," Johnson said. "So Im having to go through that earthquake. I had no idea what was going on, already getting traded. I was already in shock and now Im getting thrown around my room. It was crazy." In coming to Toronto, Johnson is reunited with his double play partner shortstop Yunel Escobar who played with him for the Atlanta Braves. "Hes awesome," Johnson said. "The guy can play. Hes one of the best shortstops in the game, has fun, plays hard every single day. So its good to have that familiar face for sure." Notes: Attendance at Rogers Centre was 17,355. ....With Johnsons arrival, outfielder Darin Mastroianni was returned to triple-A Las Vegas after playing one game, Wednesday. McCoy played centre field on Thursday with centre fielder Colby Rasmus still out with a sore right wrist. ...Arencibias 20th homer of the season equalled the franchise record for a catcher set last season by John Buck. ...Francoeur suffered a bruised calf when hit by a pitch in the ninth. ....Right-hander Henderson Alvarez (0-1, 4.32 ERA) makes his fourth career major-league start for the Blue Jays on Friday against James Shields (11-10, 3.05 ERA) in the opener of a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays. Calvin Johnson Jersey . Bob McClure was fired Monday and replaced by Randy Niemann with the Red Sox on the fringe of the playoff race following another rough stretch. "We felt like we needed to make a change to put our pitchers in the best position to do what they needed to do," general manager Ben Cherington said. Calvin Johnson youth Jersey . Johns IceCaps. Aebischer posted a 3.00 goals-against average and .897 save percentage in two preseason games with the Jets. The 33-year-old had been playing in his native Switzerland for the past four seasons. . Gryba caught Eller with a crunching hit at the blue line as the Canadiens forward was receiving a pass from defenceman Raphael Diaz. Eller went airborne and slammed face-first down to the ice, leaving him bleeding profusely as trainers tended to him. Calvin Johnson Authentic Jersey . An investigative story by ESPN The Magazine released Wednesday says that an unnamed road teams relievers noticed a man dressed in white in the outfield seats giving signs to Blue Jays batters in a game late last season at the Rogers Centre. Calvin Johnson lions Jersey . -- Darryl Sutter coached the Los Angeles Kings in two late-season games against the St. RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Any drama left Sunday at Mission Hills was gone a few minutes after the final group teed off. Robbing the Kraft Nabisco Championship of another exciting finish, Inbee Park doubled her lead to six strokes over playing partner Lizette Salas on the par-4 opening hole and ran away with her second major title. Park made a 20-foot birdie putt, showing off a putting touch unmatched in womens golf, and Salas had a messy double bogey for a three-stroke swing. "That made my day much easier, thats for sure," Park said. The 2008 U.S. Womens Open winner at Interlachen, Park closed with a 3-under 69 to finish at 15 under, four strokes ahead of fellow South Korean player So Yeon Ryu. "It had been a while since I won a major. It feels very special," said the 24-year-old Park, the third straight South Korean major winner and the eighth in a row from Asia. Park celebrated the victory with the traditional leap into Poppies Pond. "It was great," Park said. "Thats the pond Ive always wanted to jump in and I finally jumped in. It was a little bit chilly, though." She also jumped from fourth to second in the world with her fifth LPGA Tour title and ninth worldwide win. "I only have one more spot to go," Park said. She filled a water bottle in the pond. "That was for my dad," Park said. "When I see him next week in Hawaii, Im going to pour it over him. Yeah, thats what he wanted." She stopped him from making the trip from South Korea to California. "He packed his bags and booked a ticket and everything and he was on his way," Park said. "I called him and, like, said, Just dont come. He was very mad because he really wanted to come. But really it was tough stopping him, but he actually listened to me. ... I stopped him because if he came, I would want to win so bad, but that might be on my mind playing today." Park was four victories in her last 16 events. She won the LPGA Thailand in February in her season debut when Ariya Jutanugarn closed with a triple bogey to blow a two-stroke lead. "Ive played five tournaments on the LPGA Tour and Ive won two of them, which is a very good start," Park said. "Its pressure off me for the rest of the season." Last year, Park won twice, had six runner-up finishes and topped the money list. She won the Evian Masters in July in France, tied for third in her next start, added three straight second-place finishes and capped the run with a victory in October in the LPGA Malaysia. "Ive seen Inbee do this before," top-ranked Stacy Lewis said. "I played with her at Evian last year when she had, I think, 22 or 23 putts in the final round. When she rolls it, you cant beat her. Shes the best putter on tour. The course here is a little softer than normal, so I think thats to her advantage." The 22-year-old Ryu, playing five groups ahead of Park, shot a bogey-free 65 -- the best round of the week. Ryu is close friends with Park and they played a practice round together before the tournament. &quuot;She looks like she played another golf course," said Ryu, the 2011 U.ddddddddddddS. Womens Open champion. "This golf course is really hard, and especially before we started the tournament, she really worried about the game because her ball flight is a little low, but this golf course has pretty firm greens, so she said, Oh, I dont think I can stop it on the greens because my ball flight is too low. ... I think she was lying to me." Salas, the 23-year-old former University of Southern California player who grew up west of Los Angeles in Azusa, had a 79 to tie for 25th at 2 under. "Obviously, Im not very pleased," Salas said. "Very disappointed in myself." After Parks low drive bounded down the middle of the fairway, Salas -- dressed in Trojans cardinal and gold -- hit into the deep left rough, 30 yards behind Park. Salas topped her second shot, advancing the ball only 15 yards, and left her third about 15 yards short of the green. "The second shot, it just came a little too quick," Salas said. "Throughout the day, I was just really anxious and hit a lot of pulls today. I was just not myself today." Salas chipped to 15 feet, watched Park hole her birdie putt, then two-putted for 6. Park increased her lead to seven on the par-5 second, holing a 7-footer. She couldnt get birdie tries to fall on the next three holes, then dropped a stroke on the par-4 sixth after driving into the left-side water, ending her bogey-free run at 27 holes. Park made a 22-footer for birdie on the par-3 eighth and got to 15 under with a 5-foot putt on the par-5 ninth. She made another bogey on the par-10th, leaving her four strokes ahead of Ryu. Park made a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-4 12th and a 10-footer on the par-4 13th to push her lead back to six at 16 under. She nearly made it three straight birdies, but her 12-footer lipped out on the par-3 14th. She missed a short putt to bogey the par-3 17th, and closed with a par. Lewis, the 2011 winner, tied for 32nd at 1 under after a 72. After winning consecutive events in Singapore and Phoenix to take the top spot in the world from Yani Tseng, Lewis tied for ninth two weeks in Carlsbad and was never in contention at Mission Hills. "Its been crazy," Lewis. "I expected to get the attention at the tournaments and at the course, but Ive been surprised at things off the course." DIVOTS: Park earned $300,000. Shes the third South Korean winner at Mission Hills, following Grace Park (2004) and Sun Young Yoo (2012). ... Suzann Pettersen (69) and Caroline Hedwall (68) tied for third at 9 under. ... Tseng closed with a 74 to tie for 48th at 2 over. Winless in more than a year, she dropped to No. 3 in the world. ... Lydia Ko, the 15-year-old New Zealand amateur who won the Canadian Womens Open last August to become the youngest LPGA Tour champion, had a 69 to tie for 25th at 2 under -- the best score among the amateurs. "Im very happy and excited to get low am," Ko said. "I finished well and that is the biggest thing for me." ' ' '
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