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."
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."