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Major League Baseball
Preview
Kansas City at Toronto
When: 1:07 PM ET, Sunday, August 2, 2015
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario

The recent acquisitions made by the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals in the days leading up to the trade deadline wasted little time contributing to their new teams, striking blows against each other in what has the look of a potential playoff showdown. One day after overcoming a four-run deficit to end a three-game losing streak, the Royals attempt to salvage a four-game split in Toronto on Sunday.

Troy Tulowitzki keyed a three-run seventh-inning rally and scored the winning run in Friday’s extra-inning victory three days after the Blue Jays acquired the five-time All-Star from Colorado. In Kansas City’s 7-6 triumph on Saturday, Ben Zobrist – dealt from Oakland on the same day that Tulowitzki was traded – took his turn at stealing the spotlight by clubbing the second of his two home runs to spark a three-run eighth against dominant new Blue Jay reliever Mark Lowe. In only his third game with the team, Zobrist became the seventh Royal to hit a homer from both sides of the plate in a game and first to do it since Wilson Betemit in 2010. The teams have split six games thus far, meaning Sunday’s finale will determine the season series.

TV: 1:07 p.m. ET, FSN Kansas City, SNET and TVA Sports (Toronto)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Edinson Volquez (10-5, 3.21 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH R.A. Dickey (5-10, 4.27)
Volquez reached the 10-win mark for the second straight year and fourth time in his career on Monday, overcoming five walks to allow three runs on six hits over six innings in a 9-4 triumph at Cleveland. The victory was the second straight following a four-game winless streak to begin July for the 2008 All-Star, who has mostly silenced the big bats of Jose Bautista (3-for-14) and Tulowitzki (3-for-12). Volquez is 0-3 with a 7.30 ERA in five starts against the Blue Jays, however, and was pounded for seven runs (five earned) in his only career turn at Rogers Centre in 2008.

Dickey continued to turn back the clock with Wednesday’s 8-2 victory over Philadelphia, yielding two unearned runs in eight frames to log his 10th outing of permitting three earned runs or fewer in 11 tries. The 40-year-old knuckleballer, who has struggled mightily against Omar Infante (17-for-34, two home runs) but silenced Zobrist (6-for-37, homer), will make a start on three days’ rest for the first time since 2011. Dickey will face Kansas City for the first time since May 2014 and is 3-3 with a 4.81 ERA in 13 appearances (seven starts) versus the Royals.

WALK-OFFS
1. Kansas City RHP Wade Davis surrendered his first home run in 124 relief outings while Lowe was tagged for three earned runs on Saturday, one fewer than he allowed in 34 appearances with Seattle.

2. Royals 1B Eric Hosmer is 28-for-56 with 10 multi-hit games during his 14-game hitting streak, two shy of tying his career high.

3. After batting .344 in July with Philadelphia, LF Ben Revere went 0-for-5 in his debut with the Blue Jays.

PREDICTION: Blue Jays 8, Royals 4
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Kansas City 62-41 W1 34-18 28-23 10-9 26-16 15-10 11-6
Toronto 53-52 L1 31-21 22-31 23-21 10-13 11-12 9-6
Last Meeting
Kansas City Toronto
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/1/15 KC 7 TOR 6 .265 2 .797 .229 3 .775
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City E. Hosmer .458 11 .980
Toronto J. Bautista .333 8 1.013
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City B. Zobrist 2 4 4
Toronto J. Bautista 2 5 4
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 4.64 .266 34
Toronto 4.17 .277 24
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City E. Hosmer .318 121 .857
Toronto J. Donaldson .293 120 .909
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City S. Perez 15 31 43
Toronto J. Donaldson 26 73 75
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 3.58 .270 699
Toronto 4.01 .264 723