Redman pitches Royals past struggling Blue Jays

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Mark Redman had a pretty good comeback for all the disparaging remarks that were made when he was selected for American League All-Star team over the weekend.

He went out and pitched like an All-Star on Thursday night.

The left-hander, Kansas City's only representative in next week's All-Star Game, allowed five hits in eight-plus innings in the Royals' 6-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

"I wasn't pitching to validate anything," Redman said. "It definitely looks good. I was just out there to set the tone for the four-game series and try to win a ballgame for the team. And work quick because these guys are scoring runs for me."

Redman, who is 6-0 with a 4.05 ERA in his past seven starts, did not allow a hit until Vernon Wells' line drive single in the fourth. Redman gave up both runs, walked two and struck out two.

Redman (6-4) lowered his ERA from 6.88 after his first seven starts to 5.27. He is 4-0 with a 2.12 ERA in five career starts against the Blue Jays.

"We're on a good roll as a team and we just need to continue to do that," Redman said. "People are going to say what they want to. Writers are going to write what they want to write. You can fire back if you want or you can take defense. I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to fire back. The way to do it is out on the field and just keep performing."

This has been a trying year for Redman, who had knee surgery in spring training. His mother learned earlier this year that she has breast cancer. Redman picked up his first victory on June 4, the day before his father had major heart surgery.

The surgery was successful, but neither of Redman's parents will make the trip to Pittsburgh for Tuesday's All-Star Game.

Redman stymied the Blue Jays, who entered the game leading the American League with a .293 batting average and a .483 slugging percentage.

"Toronto's one through six hitters can hurt you at anytime," Redman said. "You can never let down, use all your pitches, use both sides of the plate, work in and out and up and down."

Royals catcher John Buck said "everything seemed to be working" for Redman.

"He was throwing his curveball for strikes, locating it where he wanted to, threw his changeup to both sides of the plate and was keeping his fastball low and away and up and in," Buck said.

Wells led off the ninth with his 21st home run and Troy Glaus
singled to knock out Redman.

"I had a 6-1 lead and threw a first-pitch fastball to Vernon and he took it for a ride," Redman said.

Said Wells: "Redman had quite a bit of us fooled. he was mixing his pitches and he threw the ball as well as I've seen. He knows how to keep guys off-balance, working in-and-out and keeping the ball down."

The Royals (30-54) have won 12 of their last 17 games. The Blue Jays have lost three of the first four games on their seven-game road trip and have dropped five games behind first-place Boston in the AL East.

Mark Teahen, who has a career-high nine-game hitting streak, homered to lead off the second for Kansas City. Doug Mientkiewicz and Emil Brown both drove in two runs, while Tony Graffanino had two hits and scored three runs.

Mientkiewicz's RBI double in the first gave Kansas City a 1-0 lead.

The Royals made it 4-0 in the third when Brown's two-out single drove in Graffanino, who had walked, and Reggie Sanders, who had doubled.

The Royals added two runs in the fourth. Buck, who had singled and advanced to second when David DeJesus walked, scored on a throwing error by shortstop John McDonald. Graffanino, who reached first on the error, scored on Mientikiecz's second double.

The Blue Jays did not have a runner reach second base until the seventh. Glaus walked with one out and went to second on Shea Hillenbrand's single. Lyle Overbay's two-out single, which bounced off the mound and over shortstop Angel Berroa's head into center field, scored Glaus.

"It was typical Redman," Toronto leadoff hitter Reed Johnson
said. "He's going to use the hitter's aggressiveness against them. Even in hitter's counts, you're not going to see a cookie from him."

Blue Jays rookie right-hander Ty Taubenheim (1-5) was pulled after 2 2/3 innings. He allowed four runs and five hits, three for extra bases, and two walks. Taubenheim is 0-5 with a 4.99 ERA in seven starts.

Game notes
Kansas City is the only AL team without a complete game. ... The Royals have hit a double in 28 straight games, the longest streak in the majors. ... Catcher Paul Bako was a late scratch from the Kansas City lineup with a strained right oblique muscle. ... Right fielder Eric Hinske batted second for the first time this season for the Blue Jays. He has batted everywhere but third and cleanup this season.