Berrios shines in Toronto debut to sweep KC

The Kansas City Royals completed a miserable trip north of the border Sunday in a 5-1 loss to Toronto. The Royals were 15-5 in the three-game sweep.



August 2, 2021 - 9:03 AM

Jose Berrios of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts after striking out Edward Olivares of the Kansas City Royals to end the sixth inning Sunday. Photo by Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images / TNS

TORONTO (AP) — José Berríos pitched six shutout innings in his Toronto debut and the Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep in their first series north of the border since 2019, beating the Kansas City Royals 5-1 Sunday.

Marcus Semien and Santiago Espinal homered to back Toronto’s big-name newcomer.

Acquired from Minnesota at the trade deadline Friday for two minor leaguers, Berríos (8-5) allowed five hits, four of them singles.

“I feel really happy about what I did today,” Berríos said. “I was able to throw strikes.”

The two-time All-Star walked one and struck out seven, including four straight in the third and fourth innings.

“His stuff was electric today,” Semien said.

Kansas City loaded the bases with two out in the sixth, but Berríos ended his outing by striking out Edward Olivares and exited with a 5-0 lead.

“I didn’t want to let them take the game from my hands,” Berríos said.

Berríos threw five straight curveballs to fan Olivares and escape the jam.

“I got all breaking balls,” Olivares said via a translator. “He worked both sides of the plate.”

Berríos is 3-0 in three starts against Kansas City this season.

Trevor Richards retired all four batters he faced and Tim Mayza got five outs as Toronto won for the fifth time in six games.

The Blue Jays returned to Canada on Friday after having played the entire 2020 season and the first half of 2021 in both Buffalo and Dunedin, Florida, because of border restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We couldn’t have had a better series to start out our Toronto season,” Semien said.

After George Springer opened the scoring with an RBI double in the third, Semien hit his 25th homer, a two-run drive off Brad Keller (7-10).