TORONTO — Marcus Stroman pitched seven strong innings, and Darwin Barney homered and drove in three runs as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Kansas City Royals 5-2 on Tuesday night.
Russell Martin also hit a two-run double for the Blue Jays, who were coming off a four-game split with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas delivered a sacrifice fly against Stroman in the seventh, and Alex Gordon hit his eighth homer of the season in the eighth against reliever Ryan Tepera.
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 third straight loss, further damaging 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.
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.
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.
Tepera replaced Stroman to open the eighth. After Gordon homered, Merrifield singled. Cain’s grounder to third started a double play.
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.