As a result, Blanton's performance kept other relievers -- such as Wade Davis, Greg Holland and Ryan Madson -- fresh for the coming days.
"That was, for me, one of the highlights of our day," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was banging strikes, he was moving the ball around, and he was changing speeds. He was on the attack with all his stuff.
"For him, coming in, third day in a row, doing what he did, was huge for us today."
Blanton pitched a shutout inning in each of the Royals' previous two games, totaling two strikeouts and no walks.
"Coming in right there, you have a couple jobs really," Blanton said. "One is try to hold it close and hopefully we can chip away, and the next is eat as many innings as you can so not everybody has to throw, so everybody is fresh for tomorrow."
Blanton, who has started 248 of his 271 career games, said going three consecutive days didn't make his arm feel much different from what he is used to doing.
"It's kind of my first time really being in the bullpen," Blanton said. "It's different, but yeah … I feel like I would after a start right now."
Jordan Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com.