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KC@TOR: Encarnacion homers twice against the Royals

TORONTO -- One night after beating the Rays on a walk-off throwing error, it was a defensive miscue from one of the Blue Jays' best defenders that proved costly in Thursday's series opener against the Royals.

Jose Reyes misfired on a routine ground ball in the ninth that allowed the tying run to score before Kansas City scored twice in the 10th on its way to an 8-6 victory at Rogers Centre. The loss snapped the Blue Jays' nine-game winning streak.

"No excuses," said Reyes, who had the game in his hands as Salvador Perez sent a two-out ground ball his way at shortstop, but a low throw could not be handled by first baseman Edwin Encarnacion. "Should make a better throw there. It's a routine ground ball. I have to make that play anytime, especially in that situation."

The Royals played small ball in the 10th to generate the winning run. After Alcides Escobar led off with a single, Pedro Ciriaco was struck in the helmet during a bunt attempt by reliever Todd Redmond. Nori Aoki's sacrifice moved them to second and third, and Omar Infante lined a two-run single to left to plate the go-ahead runs.

The Blue Jays had one last chance in the bottom half of the 10th, as Anthony Gose reached on an infield single with two outs. But closer Greg Holland fanned Reyes to end the game and earn his 15th save as the Royals snapped a four-game losing streak. And they did it by outhitting one of the best offenses in baseball.

"I was really pleased with the way we swung the bats tonight," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "We were driving balls. Salvy hit a homer. Ciriaco missed a two-run homer by about a foot. We just had some great at-bats."

Kansas City knocked around R.A. Dickey for 10 hits and five earned runs over five-plus innings.

The Royals put up a three-run fifth before driving the knuckleballer from the game in the sixth frame after leading off the inning with two hits.

"They did a good job," Dickey said. "The first batter was a 10-pitch at-bat. They did a good job of fighting me all day."

Kansas City starter James Shields, meanwhile, went seven innings and allowed eight hits and six earned runs. He also surrendered three homers, two of which came from the bat of Encarnacion.

The Blue Jays slugger continued his assault on the month of May, and made history by hitting a pair of two-run homers to set a new club record for jacks in a month with 16. He is now tied with Mickey Mantle for the American League record for most home runs in the month of May.

"Unbelievable," Encarnacion said. "If you asked me, am I going to hit 16 homers in one month? I'm going to say no. I never thought I'd hit 16 homers, but when you have the timing like I have right now, you have to keep going, keep swinging hard like the way I've been doing."

After hitting only two home runs in the first month of the season, Encarnacion has caught fire. The 31-year-old said his timing has never been this good, and he's seeing the ball better than ever.

"It's a great feeling now compared to where I was before, at the beginning here," he said. "That's why you have to keep working hard, keep doing your routine so good things can happen. That's why I keep my head up, keep working and you'll see what's happened right now."

Toronto pulled ahead, 6-5, in the sixth inning on Encarnacion's two-run blast that reached the second deck in left field.

That homer came after Kansas City took a 5-4 lead with a three-run fifth. The back-and-forth affair continued into the seventh. With Blue Jays reliever Rob Rasmussen on to pitch, the Royals loaded the bases with two outs. But lefty Aaron Loup came on and struck out Escobar to end the threat.

"You don't expect to lose like that," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "But you know, we've been playing some good baseball. The key is to come back tomorrow and play a good clean game. Reyes has been rock solid out there. But that's what happens in baseball."

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