TORONTO (AP) -- Josh Towers is starting to fulfill his promise.
Towers won his third straight start by pitching eight strong innings and the Toronto Blue Jays ended a four-game losing streak with a 6-1 victory over the struggling Kansas City Royals on Monday night."I think I have to prove myself," said Towers, who has yet to show he can be consistent since breaking into the majors in 2001. "When I was a rookie, I started pretty good and then struggled at the end. The next year, I had one of the worst years you've ever seen, so I haven't really proved myself as an everyday guy yet."Towers foundered in the Orioles organization in 2002, going a combined 0-12 with an ERA just under 8.00 with Baltimore and Triple-A Rochester. He was 0-3 with a 7.90 ERA for Baltimore.The 28-year-old right-hander went 8-1 with a 4.48 ERA with Toronto in 2003 but finished 9-9 with a 5.11 ERA last season.Towers (4-1), Toronto's fifth starter, allowed one run and seven hits, struck out five and walked one against Kansas City. He has allowed two runs in his last 22 2/3 innings, dropping his ERA to 3.12, and has given up two runs or fewer in five of seven starts."I'm getting older, a little smarter," Towers said. "I'm definitely focused more."Toronto manager John Gibbons said Towers has won him over by his ability to win, and he thinks he's throwing harder this year."He just keeps going out there and winning for us. He just knows how to win," Gibbons said.Russ Adams hit a two-run triple for the Blue Jays, swept in three of their previous four home series.Joe McEwing drove in Kansas City's run with an RBI grounder in the sixth. The Royals have lost six of seven, dropping to an AL-worst 8-24."We're playing good baseball, but not enough to win," Kansas City's David DeJesus said. "Teams are putting up one big inning against us, and that's putting us out of games."Royals starter Runelvys Hernandez (1-5) left with a bruised right upper arm. He was struck by Corey Koskie's liner in the fifth and then threw out Koskie and got the last two outs of the inning. But he didn't come out for the sixth.Hernandez has lost five straight decisions after winning his first start. He gave up two runs and five hits."I felt OK. I wanted to keep going, but the ball hit me pretty good," Hernandez said.Alex Rios' RBI grounder and Ken Huckaby's run-scoring single gave Toronto a 2-0 lead in the second.Kansas City's John Buck led off the sixth with a single, advanced to third on DeJusus' double and scored on McEwing's RBI grounder.Toronto scored four runs in the bottom half on Adams' two-run triple off Kyle Snyder, Huckaby's RBI grounder and Frank Catalanotto's run-scoring double.
The Blue Jays avoided matching their longest losing streak of the season. They lost five straight from April 20-24. ... The Royals placed left-hander Brian Anderson on the 15-day DL with a sore left elbow. Anderson went 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in six games. The Royals replaced Anderson by recalling right-hander Leo Nunez from Double-A Wichita. Nunez had a 8.31 ERA in eight games at Wichita. ... Attendance was just 13,839.