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Cueto posts quality start in Royals debut

New acquisition strikes out seven, allows three runs over six innings

TORONTO -- The much-anticipated Royals debut of Johnny Cueto seemed to be following the perfect script. Cueto delivered a quality start against a tough Toronto team on Friday night and had a 6-3 lead after six innings.

But the Royals' normally stalwart bullpen surrendered the lead -- Ryan Madson gave up all three runs in the seventh -- and the Blue Jays won it in 11 innings, 7-6.

But as dismal as the loss was, the first impression of Cueto was a sound one.

"He pitched really well," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Added center fielder Lorenzo Cain: "He pitched well. He had the lead and unfortunately we weren't able to get him a win. It's a tough loss, but we'll bounce back."

Cueto gave up three runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out seven.

"I think I threw the ball pretty good," Cueto said through interpreter Pedro Grifol. "I felt good overall and felt good on the mound. I made one bad pitch and the rest of the game went good."

Video: KC@TOR: Cueto discusses first start with the Royals

The mistake was a hanging changeup to the red-hot Josh Donaldson, who drilled a two-run double in the third.

"I tried to get that down and I made a mistake," Cueto said. "You got to execute every pitch. You make a mistake and you'll get hurt."

Cueto also seemed at times to have trouble getting in a rhythm with catcher Salvador Perez.

"Obviously he's a very good catcher," Cueto said. "I just have to continue to work with him and that will come with time."

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.
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