KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Steven Matz held the Kansas City Royals without a hit into the sixth inning, and Jonathan Davis and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered to give the Toronto Blue Jays a 5-1 victory in the seven-inning opener of their doubleheader Saturday.
Matz (3-0) only allowed a pair of walks before Nicky Lopez’s blooper to left with one out in the sixth. Matz gave up Andrew Benintendi’s two-out double later in the inning for the only other blemish on an otherwise dominant performance.
The left-hander, who gave way to Rafael Dolis for the seventh inning, struck out five around those two walks and two hits while allowing Kansas City to hit just five balls out of the infield.
“It’s fun to get in a groove early in the season, especially when you have a lineup like this,” said Matz, who struggled with injuries throughout his six seasons with the Mets. “It’s been good. I’m just trying to build off each start, take a little from each start and get a little better every time out. That’s the goal going forward.”
Other than a shaky first, the Royals’ Mike Minor matched Matz pitch for pitch most of the way.
Minor (1-1) retired his first two batters before Guerrero and Randal Grichuk hit back-to-back singles and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. drilled a two-run double off the wall. That was all the runs until Davis hit his first homer of the year off the left-field foul pole leading off the fifth and Guerrero tagged his second homer of the series leading off the sixth.
“Some good defensive plays behind me,” Minor said. “I felt like the strike zone was a little tight, so a lot of the pitches I was throwing, I wasn’t getting ahead. I was getting behind guys. And then I gave up the home runs.”
Even if Matz didn’t allow a hit all game, his sterling start wouldn’t have…