The All-Star break next week is arriving at just the right time for Luke Hochevar.
The Kansas City right-hander won for the third time in four starts after leaving the game with a sprained ankle, Eric Hosmer had three RBIs and the Royals beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-6 on Thursday night. Hochevar (6-8) gave up two runs and four hits in five innings before leaving with his injury. He sprained his right ankle while covering first base on Colby Rasmus' infield single in the fifth.
"I hit the bag on the inside and just rolled it in," Hochevar said. "It wouldn't have been bad if it wasn't on the inside. When I was pushing off the rubber it extended it and it was biting me pretty good. It's a good thing we have the All-Star break coming up and I've got eight days (of rest)."
Hochevar stayed in the game and struck out Jose Bautista to finish the inning, but was replaced by Tim Collins in the sixth.
"He was fine but I didn't like the look on his face," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "When he came in (to the dugout) he lobbied to go back out for the sixth but I wasn't going to."
Hochevar, who improved to 4-1 in seven career starts against Toronto, said his ankle isn't so sore that he couldn't pitch again before the break if he was scheduled for another start.
"It's stiff and it's tender and it bother me to push off the rubber but I think it would be fine," he said.
All-Star Billy Butler snapped a season-long 0-for-24 hitless streak against Toronto pitching and Yuniesky Betancourt homered as the Royals won for the second time in six games. Salvador Perez tied a career-high with four hits, all singles, and extended his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games. Kansas City finished with a season-high 16 hits.
"(Perez) has been a big boost to our club, both defensively and offensively," Yost said.
Collins worked 1 1-3 innings and Greg Holland got the last two outs of the seventh. Aaron Crow got two outs in the eighth but gave up Yunel Escobar's RBI single before Jose Mijares came on and surrendered a two-run triple to pinch-hitter Ben Francisco before Kelvin Herrera got J.P. Arencibia to ground out to end the threat.