Blue Jays manager Farrell goes to hospital with muscle pains

  • Associated Press
  • Thursday, August 25, 2011 12:01am
  • Sports

TORONTO — Blue Jays manager John Farrell wasn’t around to see the end of his team’s loss to Kansas City on Thursday night.

Jeff Francis pitched six-plus innings to win for the first time since July 29, Melky Cabrera homered and the Royals beat Farrell’s Blue Jays 9-6.

Farrell, 49, left the dugout in the bottom of the ninth inning and went to a hospital with muscle pains on his left side, below his rib cage.

The first-year manager, who served as Boston’s pitching coach the past four seasons, initially left the bench in the eighth and went to the trainer’s room.

“About the eighth inning, I just knew he was moving around a little funny and I asked him,” bench coach Don Wakamatsu said. “He said ‘I’m struggling a little bit with my side.'”

When the pain did not subside, Wakamatsu urged Farrell not to wait until the game was over to seek medical attention.

“That’s what I told him, ‘Go get checked right now, we need to know what it is,'” Wakamatsu said.

Francis (5-14) came in 0-3 with an 8.27 ERA in his past four outings but was solid in his first career start in Canada. The left-hander, born in Vancouver, British Columbia, improved to 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA in three career starts against Toronto.

“Francis pitched great,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He came back to his home country and really did a nice job of keeping them off-balance. He worked down good tonight, really changed speeds well.”

Francis, who won just one of his previous nine decisions, gave up two runs and six hits. He walked three, one intentional, and struck out five.

“It was nice to come out and throw some zeros up early in the game,” Francis said. “It was a good day.”

Francis’ brother and niece came down from Montreal, while several former teammates from the University of British Columbia and members of his wife’s family who live in Ontario also attended the game.

“I know he’s real excited,” outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. “He had about 15 or 16 family members here tonight. It means a lot. It’s like any time I go back to Atlanta, where I’m from, it’s a big deal. I couldn’t be happier for him. He did a great job for us tonight and gave us a huge two out of three up here against a tough team.”

The Blue Jays managed just three hits against Francis over the first six innings before chasing him in the seventh. Kelly Johnson led off with a single and J.P. Arencibia followed with a two-run drive to left, his 20th. Francis left after Mike McCoy followed with a single.

Greg Holland came on and got Yunel Escobar to ground into a force before fanning Eric Thames and Jose Bautista.

Holland pitched two innings and Joakim Soria gave up Encarnacion’s 13th homer, a two-run shot in the ninth.

Billy Butler went 4 for 5 with two RBIs and scored twice as the Royals won their first series since taking two of three against Baltimore from Aug. 2-4. It was Kansas City’s first series victory in Toronto since August 2002.

Butler doubled and scored in the fourth, singled in the sixth and seventh and doubled home two runs off reliever Shawn Camp in the eighth. He went 8 for 15 with five extra-base hits to help the Royals win twice in the three-game series.

“He’s as good a hitter as there is in the American League,” an appreciative Francis said. “It’s the kind of bat that can carry a team.”

Arencibia and Edwin Encarnacion homered for the Blue Jays, but Toronto lost for the fourth time in six games.

Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez led off the third with a double and scored on a two-out hit by Johnny Giavotella. Butler doubled to begin the fourth and scored on a two-out single by Mike Moustakas.

The Royals got two more in the sixth. Cabrera doubled, moved to third on Butler’s single and scored on a hit by Francoeur. After Moustakas grounded into a fielder’s choice, Perez drove in Butler with a single to center.

Cabrera chased Blue Jays left-hander Brett Cecil with a one-out homer to left in the seventh, his 17th.

Pitching despite having strep throat and a fever, Cecil (4-7) lost his third straight decision, allowing five runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings. He walked one and struck out three.

“This game’s tough enough as it is,” Johnson said of Cecil. “You go out there and battle being sick. He went out and competed. He was fiery still.”

Arencibia’s homer in the seventh cut it to 5-2 but Butler’s two-run double in the eighth restored Kansas City’s five-run lead.

Brett Lawrie hit an RBI triple off Holland in the bottom half and Arencibia added a sacrifice fly, but the Royals answered in the ninth when Moustakas hit an RBI double off Rommie Lewis and Mitch Maier added a sacrifice fly off Jesse Litsch.

Johnson, acquired Tuesday from Arizona, made his Toronto debut. Batting in the seventh spot, he went 1 for 2 with two walks. He threw out Maier trying to score from third on a grounder in the eighth.

Francoeur left in the ninth after he was hit on the right calf by a pitch. He stayed in the game and ran the bases before being replaced.

NOTES: Toronto optioned OF Darin Mastroianni to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Johnson. … Blue Jays OF Colby Rasmus (right wrist) missed his second straight game. … Royals OF Alex Gordon did not start because of a bruised right elbow sustained when he was hit by a pitch Wednesday. He came on as a defensive replacement in the ninth. … Arencibia’s 20 homers match John Buck (2010) for the most in a season by a Blue Jays catcher. … Kansas City had 16 hits for the second time in the series. The Royals had 41 hits in the series, their highest total of the season for a three-game set. … A moment of silence was held before the game to honor Mike Flanagan, who pitched for the Blue Jays from 1987-90. Flanagan, 59, committed suicide on Wednesday.

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