TORONTO (AP) — Dioner Navarro is about to be reunited with an old teammate, and he’s excited about what they might achieve together.
Navarro hit a two-run home run, Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson added solo shots and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 5-2 on Thursday night, hours after landing former Cy Young Award winner David Price in a deal with Detroit.
Navarro and Price played together for three seasons in Tampa Bay, reaching the World Series in 2008, Price’s rookie campaign.
“He knows what it takes,” Navarro said of Price. “He’s been doing it for a long time. And I think he’s going to do nothing but good things for us.”
Price was not with the Blue Jays on Thursday but is expected to join them Friday. Toronto has not said when Price will make his first start but Sunday is a possibility.
The left-hander is the second major acquisition of the week for the Blue Jays, who landed shortstop Troy Tulowitzki on Tuesday.
“I thought even before we made the moves we were a good team and we just got better,” Toronto starter Marco Estrada said.
Estrada (8-6) allowed two runs and three hits in 5 2-3 innings. Estrada left after Lorenzo Cain’s two-out single in the sixth ended his run of 15 straight outs. Brett Cecil came on and retired Eric Hosmer.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched the seventh, Aaron Sanchez worked the eighth and Roberto Osuna finished for his sixth save.
The Blue Jays have homered in 12 consecutive games since the All-Star break, their longest streak of the season.
“That’s what we do best,” manager John Gibbons said.
Kansas City, which lost 12-1 at Cleveland on Wednesday, allowed three homers in consecutive games for the first time this season.
“You make a mistake and they can hammer it a long way,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of the Blue Jays. “These guys are really good.”
Kendrys Morales put the Royals in front with a two-run double in the first inning but Toronto answered in the bottom half on Jose Bautista’s sacrifice fly.
Kevin Pillar reached on a bloop single to begin the second and Navarro followed with a drive to left off Kansas City left-hander Danny Duffy.
Martin extended the lead with a one-out drive in the third and Donaldson made it 5-2 with a second-deck blast in the fourth, his team-high 25th.
Duffy (4-5) hadn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his previous four starts but couldn’t extend that streak against Toronto, which leads the majors in runs. Duffy allowed five runs and six hits in six innings, losing for the first time since June 30 at Houston.
“I just didn’t make pitches when I needed to,” said Duffy, who allowed three homers for the first time in his career. “They capitalized excellently on every single one of my mistakes.”
Ben Zobrist made his debut with the Royals, batting sixth and starting in left field. Zobrist, who was acquired from Oakland on Tuesday, went 0 for 4, grounding out to end the game.
ORLANDO TO OMAHA
Brazilian rookie OF Paulo Orlando was optioned to Triple-A Omaha to make room for Zobrist.
YOUR NUMBER IS UP
Royals first base coach Rusty Kuntz gave up his number 18 to Zobrist, switching to 81. Kuntz also surrendered 18 last season when the Royals traded for Raul Ibanez. Toronto’s Justin Smoak switched from 14 to 13 so Price can wear his preferred number.
Royals: OF Alex Gordon (left groin) hit off the tee one day ahead of schedule. Gordon took 20 swings and will do the same Friday.
Blue Jays: 1B Edwin Encarnacion (left middle finger) did not start but was available to pinch-hit. ... 2B Devon Travis (left shoulder) was not available after getting a cortisone shot Wednesday.
Royals: RHP Johnny Cueto (7-6, 2.62 ERA) makes his Kansas City debut Friday. Cueto is 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in two previous starts against Toronto.
Blue Jays: RHP Drew Hutchison (9-2, 5.42 ERA) has pitched six innings just once in his past eight outings. He’s 7-1 with a 2.21 ERA in nine home starts.