Series: Game 3 of 4

Toronto leads 2-1 (as of 8/12)

Game 1: Friday, August 10
Kansas City1
Game 2: Saturday, August 11
Kansas City4
Game 3: Sunday, August 12
Kansas City1
Game 4: Monday, August 13
Kansas City6

Blue Jays 4

(59-57, 24-35 away)

Royals 1

(51-65, 27-34 home)

    7:10 PM ET, August 12, 2007

    Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    TOR 001201000 4 12 0
    KC 000000010 1 4 0

    W: A. Burnett (6-6)

    L: B. Bannister (8-7)

    S: J. Accardo (22)

    Burnett wins in first game since coming off DL

    • Summary: Toronto starter A.J. Burnett looked like he hardly missed a beat. Fresh off the disabled list, Burnett allowed a run on three hits in 7 1/3 innings of work for his first win since May 22 against Baltimore.

    A.J. Burnett

    • Unsung hero: Lyle Overbay sparked the offense for the Blue Jays with a 3-for-5 night at the plate with two RBIs. Overbay had two RBIs over his previous 13 games.

    • Figure this: Toronto has won six of its last nine games while Kansas City has lost six of its last nine games.

    • Did you see that?: Royals LF Joey Gathright robbed Blue Jays 2B Aaron Hill of a home run for the second straight night.

    • Quotable: "I think he's going to give us a boost and finish strong. I think it's going to help us out. All he's doing is making a strong rotation even stronger." -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons on Burnett's return

    -- news services

    Blue Jays 4, Royals 1

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Now that A.J. Burnett has rejoined a rotation that includes Roy Halladay, the Toronto Blue Jays believe they are poised for improvement -- and they're only 6 1/2 games out of the wild card.

    Fresh off the disabled list, the right-hander gave up three hits pitching into the eighth inning and the Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1 Sunday night.

    Burnett (6-6) limited the Royals to two singles and Alex Gordon's home run over 7 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked three in his first outing since June 28 and didn't allow a run until Gordon led off the eighth with his 10th homer of the year.

    "I think he's going to give us a boost and finish strong," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I think it's going to help us out. All he's doing is making a strong rotation even stronger."

    Burnett, who went on the disabled list twice in June due to shoulder strains, won for the first time since May 22 at Baltimore. He was 0-3 in his past five starts.

    "I think it's going to be huge for us," catcher Gregg Zaun said. "That just adds another quality starter. A.J. is one of those guys when he's on his game is a legitimate 1-2 [starter] on any ballclub and a lot of clubs would love to have him.

    "A lot of people think he's a potential Cy Young candidate. I agree. He's that good."

    Burnett got 14 of his 22 outs on ground balls on a warm evening when the temperature was 100 degrees for the first pitch.

    "It's a hot day and I was trying to pace myself and not overthrow," Burnett said. "If I go all out, I probably would have gone only two innings. I was attacking the zone."

    Jeremy Accardo worked the ninth for his 22nd save in 26 opportunities.

    Lyle Overbay had three hits, including two doubles, and drove in two runs for the Blue Jays. Zaun also had a pair of doubles and scored twice, and Alex Rios had two hits.

    Brian Bannister (8-7) lost for the first time since July 16, snapping a three-game winning streak. Bannister lasted just 4 2/3 innings, his shortest outing since May 4, allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks.

    "The hitters were able to eliminate some of my secondary pitches because I was struggling with them," Bannister said. "I was far too predictable when I had to throw a strike. I was just disappointed I wasn't able to control the game enough to give my team a win."

    Rios led off the third with a triple and scored on Vernon Wells' sacrifice fly, and Overbay's two-out double to left-center in the fourth scored Zaun and Matt Stairs, increasing the Blue Jays' lead to 3-0.

    Zaun doubled to lead off the sixth off reliever Ryan Braun, moved to third on Ray Olmedo's sacrifice bunt and scored on Stairs' sacrifice fly.

    The Royals threatened in the third off Burnett. David DeJesus walked with two outs and stole second, but was out at the plate attempting to score on Mark Grudzielanek's single to right.

    Grudzielanek's hit was the only time the Royals got the ball to the outfield in the first five innings.

    "Burnett was on the plate all night," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "He was pretty efficient pitch-wise, which is somewhat unusual for a power pitcher. We weren't awful. We just got beat by a pretty good pitcher."

    Game notes

    Royals LF Joey Gathright robbed Blue Jays 2B Aaron Hill of a home run for the second straight night. ... Stairs led off the game with a double, extending his hitting streak to nine games. ... The Blue Jays placed RHP Brandon League on the disabled list with a pulled muscle in his right side. ... Manager Buddy Bell started six left-handed hitters against Burnett, but they went a combined 1-for-15 off him.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press