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Alvarez struggles as Royals beat Blue Jays 9-6

Associated Press Published: July 5, 2012

TORONTO (AP) — One bad inning brought an end to Henderson Alvarez's two-game winning streak.

Luke Hochevar won for the third time in four starts after leaving the game with a sprained ankle, Eric Hosmer had three RBIs and the Kansas City Royals used a five-run third inning to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-6 on Thursday night.

Alvarez (5-7) gave up five runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings as Toronto lost for just the ninth time in 14 meetings against Kansas City dating to last season.

"I thought Henderson had quality pitches throughout but there were some base hits that found holes and there were a couple of walks that prolonged the inning," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.

Catcher J.P. Arencibia hit two home runs for the Blue Jays, the sixth multihomer game of his career.

Alvarez was seeking to match a career high by winning three straight starts, but couldn't make it out of the sixth.

"In the third inning I was pulling my left shoulder to first base so I was getting a little open so the pitches weren't moving as well," Alvarez said through a translator.

All-Star Billy Butler snapped a season-long 0-for-24 hitless streak against Toronto pitching and Yuniesky Betancourt homered as the Royals won for the second time in six games. Salvador Perez tied a career-high with four hits, all singles, and extended his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games. Kansas City finished with a season-high 16 hits.

The Royals opened the scoring with in a five-run, 10-batter third against Alvarez, an inning that started and ended with Jeff Francoeur grounding out to third base.

In between, Alcides Escobar, Hosmer and Butler hit RBI singles. A fourth run scored on Brett Lawrie's throwing error and Mike Moustakas capped the rally with a sacrifice fly.

"We put that big inning together and that was huge for us," Hosmer said. "We capitalized on the mistakes and that's key for us."

Butler's infield single was his first hit against the Blue Jays this season. Lawrie tried to throw Butler out from foul territory behind third base but sent his throw into right field, allowing Escobar to score.

Arencibia cut it to 5-2 in the third when he followed Kelly Johnson's leadoff double with a two-run drive into the second deck in left, his first career homer off his former University of Tennessee batterymate.

"Arencibia's been a thorn in my side the last couple of times I've faced him," Hochevar said. "I've got to figure out a way to get him out."

Toronto's catcher went deep again in the seventh with a one-out solo drive, his 13th homer of the season, off Tim Collins, giving him his third multihomer game of the season.

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