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Pillar's clutch HR perfect timing for Blue Jays

Outfielder's two-run jack in 8th is decisive blow vs. Royals
August 14, 2018

KANSAS CITY -- Kevin Pillar is beginning to get his timing back.After being stuck on the disabled list with a right sternoclavicular joint injury through Aug. 2, Pillar delivered a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning to boost the Blue Jays to a 6-5 victory over the Royals on

KANSAS CITY -- Kevin Pillar is beginning to get his timing back.
After being stuck on the disabled list with a right sternoclavicular joint injury through Aug. 2, Pillar delivered a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning to boost the Blue Jays to a 6-5 victory over the Royals on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.
With a runner at first and two out, Pillar was down in the count, 0-2, against reliever Blaine Boyer. But Boyer didn't waste a pitch. Instead, the right-hander put the ball in a spot where Pillar could turn on it and he lined it into the left-field stands.
For Pillar, it was his fourth career go-ahead homer in the eighth inning or later and his first since Aug. 23, 2017, against the Rays at Tropicana Field.
"He made a mistake with a pitch and I was able to capitalize," Pillar said. "It felt good. I just feel like I've been putting together good at-bats over the last three or four games."
Pillar finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs, including an RBI single in a two-run second inning.

"It's been a long season, but there's [over] six weeks left," Pillar said. "You have the opportunity to go out there and make the best of it."
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons noted the hard contact that Pillar had in the series prior to his decisive homer.
"He came back awfully quick from the injury and it takes a little time," Gibbons said. "You know he's going to be up there swinging. He has hit some balls on the screws and is starting to swing better."
In a back-and-forth game, the Blue Jays had the last laugh.
Toronto starter Ryan Borucki struggled with his command through four innings and reliever Jake Petricka gave up a go-ahead run in the seventh on an RBI double by Jorge Bonifacio.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Although he had an overall tough outing, Borucki finished his night with a flourish With the game tied at 4 in the fourth, Borucki had the bases loaded and a 3-2 count on Salvador Perez. Borucki saved his best for last with a fastball that Perez took for strike three.

"I wanted to have conviction with that pitch," Borucki said. "I took that extra breath and spotted it well."

SOUND SMART
With his fourth-inning homer, Danny Jansen became the 11th Blue Jays player to homer within his first two career games. The last to accomplish the feat was Devon Travis on April 6, 2015, at Yankee Stadium in his Major League debut. More >

HE SAID IT
"His slider was really good. If he keeps it down, it's almost unhittable." -- Gibbons, on closer Ken Giles' perfect ninth inning for his second Blue Jays save

UP NEXT
Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada (5-9, 4.84 ERA) will be looking for a sharp outing in the third game of the series against the Royals at 8:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium. Estrada gave up five runs over 5 1/3 innings on Friday against the Rays. Righty Jorge Lopez will be recalled from Triple-A Omaha for the start in his debut for Kansas City.

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City.