Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Aaron Sanchez Solid, Offence Explodes as Blue Jays Topple Royals 6-2

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Aaron Sanchez Solid, Offence Explodes as Blue Jays Topple Royals 6-2

Article excerpt

Sanchez solid as Blue Jays top Royals

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TORONTO - Aaron Sanchez is pitching like he wants to stay in the Blue Jays rotation. Even if that decision isn't up to him.

The 24-year-old right-hander threw eight sparkling innings of one-run ball as Toronto topped the Royals 6-2 on Monday in the teams' first meeting since Kansas City's Game 6 win in last year's American League Championship Series.

The victory improved Toronto to 46-39 and stretched Sanchez's winning streak to eight straight decisions.

But while Sanchez (9-1) has been a sturdy force in the Blue Jays' starting five, he could soon land in the bullpen on a potential innings limit.

"That decision's out of my hands," Sanchez said. "As long as I'm in the rotation I'm going to continue to do what I can do and control what I can control. Hopefully we sit down and talk about it, but like I said, that's out of my hands, there's nothing I can do with that."

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons had previously stated that Sanchez would be moved to the relief corps at some point in the season. He maintained that stance before Monday night's game.

"I don't know if anything's changed, we don't know when that time is going to come," Gibbons said. "The good part of it, if it happens, he makes our bullpen better too."

"There's talk out there that there's different feelings," Gibbons added. "I don't know, I would anticipate (the move)."

Hours later, Sanchez allowed one run on three hits while striking out three to record his fourth straight quality start.

In all, 14 of his 17 total starts have been quality starts, tying him for the most in baseball with San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner, L.A. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and Jon Lester of the Chicago Cubs.

Sanchez didn't even allow a hit to the Royals until the fifth inning when third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert singled with two out.

"I think a little bit of everything (was working)," Sanchez said. "Early on, I really didn't go to my changeup. I felt like it was effective late. (My) curveball was good early, OK late. But any time I get depth on my sinker it's always a good night for me."

Josh Donaldson and Darwin Barney each hit two-run singles in a five-run seventh inning and Devon Travis tacked on an RBI with a bases-loaded walk. …

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