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Villanueva leads Blue Jays past Royals

Wednesday, July 4, 2012 | 9:39 p.m. CDT; updated 10:10 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Luis Mendoza delivers against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning Wednesday in Toronto.

TORONTO — Carlos Villanueva pitched six shutout innings, Yunel Escobar drove in two runs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1 Wednesday night.

Every Blue Jays starter had at least one hit as Toronto won for the fourth time in six games. The Blue Jays are 6-1 against Kansas City this season and have won nine of the past 12 meetings dating to 2011.

Jeff Francoeur's RBI triple in the seventh provided the only run of the game for the Royals, who have lost five of six.

Toronto opened the scoring in the second when Rajai Davis tripled and scored on Kelly Johnson's sacrifice fly.

The Blue Jays added two more in the third. Edwin Encarnacion led off with a single, extending his hitting streak to 10 games, and Adam Lind followed with a double before Escobar and Davis hit back-to-back sacrifice flies.

Escobar added an insurance run in the eighth with a two-out RBI single off Kelvin Herrera.

Starting for the second time this season after making 22 relief appearances, Villanueva (3-0) allowed just four hits, three of them singles. He walked none and matched a season-high with seven strikeouts.

Jason Frasor replaced Villanueva in the seventh but couldn't keep the shutout bid alive. Mike Moustakas hit a two-out single and scored when Francoeur tripled to left on a ball that skipped past Davis and rolled all the way to the wall.

Darren Oliver pitched the eighth and Casey Janssen finished in the ninth for his 11th save in 12 opportunities.

Coming off a win over Minnesota in his last start, Royals right-hander Luis Mendoza pitched well but was unable to earn consecutive victories for the first time this season. Mendoza (3-5) allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out a career-high nine.


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