Blue Jays-Royals Preview

Edwin Encarnacion circled the bases after his homer snapped a 27-inning scoreless streak for the Toronto Blue Jays, providing some relief for a struggling offense that has been among the best in baseball.

That blast also helped end the Kansas City Royals' winning streak, and the Blue Jays will send Felix Doubront to the mound Sunday looking to take two of three heading into the All-Star break.

Toronto (45-45) dropped below .500 for the first time since early June after a 3-0 loss in Friday's series opener, the second straight shutout for the team that leads the majors in runs by a wide margin.

Encarnacion's two-run homer in the fourth inning Saturday plated Toronto's first runs since the fifth inning of Wednesday's 7-6, 11-inning loss to the Chicago White Sox. Danny Valencia added a three-run shot in the ninth as the Blue Jays snapped the Royals' six-game winning streak with a 6-2 victory.

"We did what we do," manager John Gibbons said. "A couple of homers, and that was the difference."

Valencia entered the contest in the sixth for record-setting All-Star vote-getter Josh Donaldson. Gibbons said Donaldson has been battling an illness and became dehydrated from the heat.

Despite those obstacles, the Blue Jays picked up their first win since Doubront (1-0, 2.00 ERA) gave up one run in 6 2-3 innings of Tuesday's 2-1 victory over the White Sox in his first start of the season.

The left-hander, released by the Chicago Cubs on March 28, was called up from the minors July 3 and pitched 2 1-3 innings of relief in a loss to Detroit in his only other appearance.

''I'm so blessed to be (in the majors) again and have the opportunity with this team,'' Doubront said. "I tried to help the team win. That's the main goal.''

Doubront last faced the Royals in 2013 with Boston and gave up three runs and walked four in four innings of a 5-3 win. He has a 5.87 ERA in three career starts against Kansas City (51-34), which had only five hits Saturday.

The AL Central-leading Royals finished with at least 11 in each of their last five but struggled to get much going in their third game without Alex Gordon, who is expected to miss eight weeks with a severe groin strain.

Mike Moustakas has gone hitless in the series since returning from the bereavement list and is 3 for 39 over his last 11.

"We've got the best winning percentage in the American League. What more do you want?," manager Ned Yost said. "We're doing fine."

The Royals look to bounce back behind Edinson Volquez, who has had to grind in each of his last two outings.

Volquez (8-4, 3.40) tossed 91 pitches while allowing five runs in five-plus innings of a 6-5 loss to Houston on July 1 before throwing 101 over five and giving up one run in a 7-1 victory over Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

The right-hander has had similar trouble against the Blue Jays. Volquez is 0-3 with an 8.84 ERA while not getting past the fifth in any of his career four career starts against Toronto, including a 7-2 loss in the most recent outing when he allowed six runs May 4, 2014, while with Pittsburgh.

Jose Reyes, who is riding a seven-game hitting streak, is 6 for 9 off Volquez.

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