|4:07 PM PT5:07 PM MT6:07 PM CT7:07 PM ET19:07 ET23:07 GMT7:07 4:07 PM MST6:07 PM EST6:37 PM VEN3:07 UAE (+1)6:07 PM CT, September 19, 2017
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario Attendance: 33,554
Blue Jays, Stroman stymie Royals
- Kemp rejoins Dodgers, Gonzalez to Braves
- Yanks keep Sabathia on 1-year, $10M deal
- RHP Gallardo rejoining Brewers
- Phils add 1B Santana for 3 years, $60M
- Angels land INF Cozart for 3 years, $38M
(TSX / STATS) -- TORONTO -- It was too little, too late, as it turned out for the Kansas City Royals, but it proved to be an historic moment when Alex Gordon homered in the eighth inning Tuesday night.
It was the 5,694th home run hit in the majors this season, passing the single-season record set in 2000.
The blast provided the final run of the game as the Royals fell 5-2 to the Toronto Blue Jays for their third loss in a row.
"I don't know what to make of it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Guys are bigger and guys are stronger, but so are the pitchers. There sure are a lot of home runs being hit."
Darwin Barney homered for the Blue Jays and drove in three runs while Marcus Stroman pitched seven strong innings.
"I think it's just the evolution of the game, the pitching is getting so much better, guys are throwing harder," Barney said of the homer record. "Sometimes you're only going to get one pitch to hit, and guys are trying to do what they can with it. There are some bigger dudes. It's just part of the game now. I don't see it trending any other way right now."
Russell Martin also hit a two-run double for the Blue Jays.
Kansas City's Mike Moustakas delivered a sacrifice fly against Stroman in the seventh, and Gordon hit his eighth homer of the season in the eighth against reliever Ryan Tepera.
"I was kind of aware that we were getting close to it," Gordon said of the homer mark. "After I walked back to the dugout, I kind of forgot about it. A pretty cool thing to be a part of. I didn't hit many this year, but I guess I made one count. It's good to be in the Hall of Fame, I guess. ...
"You've got to give credit to the players all around, just having good approaches and putting good swings on mistakes. It's been a credit to everybody around baseball. I'm going to give (the ball) to Cooperstown. I figured they'd probably have much more reason to have it than I do."
Roberto Osuna pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts to earn his 37th save of the season.
The Blue Jays (71-80) opened their final homestand of the year by handing the Royals (73-77) a loss that further damaged Kansas City's faint postseason hopes. The Royals have started an 11-game road trip 1-4.
Stroman (12-8) won for the first time since Aug. 16, a span of five starts in which he was 0-2. He allowed a run on four hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
"Me and Russ (catcher Martin) got on a pretty good roll," Stroman said. "Sinker felt good so we were kind of sticking with that and using my changeup off of my sinker."
One reason being suggested for the increase in home runs is the flatter seams on the baseball, which also is being blamed for more pitchers developing blisters.
"I just hope the blister issue is figured out going forward," Stroman said. "Not really concerned about the balls. Just the fact that some guys are experiencing blister problems. I just hope that gets figured out going into the offseason, not necessarily how the ball is flying."
Royals starter Ian Kennedy (4-12) allowed two runs, three hits and no walks while striking out two in five-plus innings. He has not won since July 26, a span of nine starts (0-6).
Jose Bautista, who could be playing his final homestand with the Blue Jays, contributed a couple of fine catches. He made a sliding grab near the right field foul line on a drive by Lorenzo Cain in the third and caught a smash by Whit Merrifield at the wall in the sixth.
The Blue Jays had not had a hit since Justin Smoak's two-out double in the first when Ryan Goins led off the bottom of the sixth with a single.
Barney followed with his fifth homer of the season, a drive to left that ended Kennedy's night.
"I was looking to get a bunt down, and it didn't work out," Barney said. "I guess the best-case scenario after that is what happened."
Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez started the Royals' seventh with singles to put runners at the corners. Moustakas lined a sacrifice fly to center to cut the Toronto lead to 2-1.
Kendrys Morales singled with one in the bottom of the seventh against Scott Alexander, and Kevin Pillar followed with a double. Rob Refsnyder ran for Morales at third base.
Martin hit a two-run double to increase the lead to three runs. Barney greeted Brandon Maurer with a two-out RBI single to bump the lead to 5-1.
NOTES: Royals C Salvador Perez returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing three games with a strain on his right side. ... The Royals won two of three from the Blue Jays from June 23-25 in Kansas City in the first series meeting of the season. ... Toronto LHP Brett Anderson (3-3, 5.73 ERA) will oppose Kansas City RHP Jakob Junis (7-2, 4.15) in the second game of the series Wednesday. Anderson was declared fit to start despite leaving his no-decision outing Thursday against the Minnesota Twins with a blister after 4 1/3 innings.
Updated September 19, 2017