stats-recaps1
Major League Baseball
Preview
Toronto at Kansas City
When: 2:15 PM ET, Sunday, June 25, 2017
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

The Kansas City Royals own a winning record for the first time this season and have no plans to go backward. The Royals will try to continue their climb above .500 and complete a three-game sweep when they host the Toronto Blue Jays in the finale of a six-game homestand on Sunday.

Kansas City won 11 of its last 13 games and followed up a walk-off win in Friday's series opener with a 3-2 triumph on Saturday. The Royals are finally beginning to get an offensive contribution from former All-Star Alex Gordon, who entered the series batting .188 but drove in a run and scored during the decisive rally on Friday and tripled in the go-ahead run on Saturday. The Blue Jays were on the verge of reaching .500 themselves before dropping the last three to fall to 35-39 as they limp to the end of a seven-game road trip. Toronto will try to avoid the sweep on Sunday behind left-hander Francisco Liriano while Kansas City counters with veteran righty Jason Hammel.

TV:
2:15 p.m. ET, Sportsnet, TVA Sports (Toronto), FSN Kansas City

PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays LH Francisco Liriano (3-3, 5.76 ERA) vs. Royals RH Jason Hammel (4-6, 4.83)

Lirianio is coming off a loss at Texas on Tuesday in which he was knocked around for five runs on seven hits - two home runs - over 4 2/3 innings. The Dominican Republic native completed seven innings just once in 11 appearances this season, striking out nine and yielding two earned runs against Tampa Bay over seven frames on June 14. Liriano made one start at Kansas City last season and allowed three runs - two earned - in six innings without factoring in the decision.

Hammel is thriving along with the rest of his team this month and is 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP in four June starts. The 34-year-old allowed two runs in seven innings to earn a win over Boston on Monday without walking a batter - the third time in four starts he did not issue a free pass. Hammel spent the last 2 1/2 seasons in the National League with the Chicago Cubs and is 4-2 with a 4.57 ERA in 15 career appearances against Toronto, with most coming as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles earlier in his career.

WALK-OFFS

1. Blue Jays closer RHP Roberto Osuna is dealing with anxiety issues.

2. Royals SS Alcides Escobar is 5-for-11 with four runs scored in the last three games, lifting his batting average to .209.

3. Toronto SS Troy Tulowitzki hit his third homer - and first since May 29 - on Saturday.

PREDICTION: Blue Jays 5, Royals 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Toronto 35-39 L3 19-17 16-22 12-19 3-5 13-8 7-7
Kansas City 37-36 W3 21-17 16-19 12-6 9-18 11-10 5-2
Last Meeting
Toronto Kansas City
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
6/24/17 TOR 2 KC 3 .265 2 .735 .179 1 .701
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Toronto J. Bautista .444 4 .889
Kansas City A. Escobar .571 4 1.429
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Toronto T. Tulowitzki 1 2 2
Kansas City E. Hosmer 1 1 1
Pitching ERA Avg K
Toronto 4.32 .286 13
Kansas City 3.00 .219 13
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Toronto J. Smoak .305 75 .960
Kansas City E. Hosmer .300 83 .823
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Toronto J. Smoak 20 43 48
Kansas City M. Moustakas 19 35 46
Pitching ERA Avg K
Toronto 4.36 .247 663
Kansas City 4.19 .244 564