Jays feeling blue again

KEN FIDLIN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

KANSAS CITY -- And the road trip from hell continues.

The Blue Jays have travelled from the swaying palm trees of steamy Florida to the chill winds of the midwestern plains in search of a win. They still haven't found one.

Last night, they squandered another strong pitching performance, this one by Shaun Marcum, on their way to a sixth consecutive defeat, five of them on this trip. The Kansas City Royals, who came into this series buried under a seven-game losing streak of their own, beat the Jays 2-1 and, in the process, sent Toronto deeper into the American League East basement.

"It was a game we could have won, a game we should have won," said a dejected manager John Gibbons. "I don't have much more to say than that."

Somebody hide all the sharp objects.

Of course, the manager's job is soon going to be on the line, if it isn't already. Vernon Wells (0-for-4) believes that's unfair.

"He's not out there hitting for us and he's not out there on the field," said Wells. "He can only do so much from the bench. He's said things to us here and there. But we have to come out of this on our own.

"Obviously I've been here long enough and seen enough managers come through here, a lot of good people, and he's one of those good people that I've been fortunate enough to be here with. We just have to play better baseball."

Last night, the Blue Jays had plenty of runners on base against Royals rookie Luke Hochevar but, as usual, couldn't get a big hit with a runner in scoring position.

The Jays were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. In the first five games of this road trip, Toronto is hitting a lusty 4-for-42 with runners in scoring position. Take it back even farther, to the start of the last homestand, and they are 11-for-98 in that situation.

It is a virtual epidemic and it is the major reason they have won just two of their last 11.

"It's frustrating, but we've got to try to get out of it," Wells said. "We're doing half the job and not finishing it. A lot of us are dumbfounded by what's going on. Then you get in a situation where you want to get the whole team out of it and you find yourself 0-for-whatever with runners in scoring position.

"You almost have to forget about what happened and start over tomorrow."

Marcum limited the Royals to just four hits in seven innings. Unfortunately for the Jays, the last was a solo home run by Jose Guillen that broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the sixth.


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