KANSAS CITY — Add another intriguing candidate for a possible future rotation spot.
Royals right-hander Glenn Sparkman made his first big league start on Thursday night and he offered four serviceable innings, giving up four hits and two runs while striking out three in the 6-2 victory over the Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium.
The finale was delayed 2 hours, 14 minutes by rain at the onset as the teams split the four-game series.
“Difficult circumstances with the long wait,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Waiting on the rain to break. We weren’t sure if we were going to play. [The rain] just kept building up, building up; then all of a sudden it started dying down; then it started building up; then it started dying down.
‘With the humidity, in the first couple innings, [Sparkman] was really struggling trying to keep his hand dry. But all in all, I think he did a nice job.”
Added Sparkman, “Felt pretty good, dealing with a lot of sweat, it was really humid out there. But other than that felt pretty good.”
Sparkman regularly hit 96 mph on his fastball with an effective changeup. One of the runs he gave up was soft, coming on a walk, a check-swing bloop double by Kevin Pillar and a sacrifice fly by Danny Jansen.
“Yeah, it was a little frustrating,” Sparkman said. “That one [to Pillar] slipped out of my hand and left it up there in the zone for him.”
On an 85-pitch limit, Sparkman threw 75 pitches, 43 for strikes. He was pitching against the team that selected him in the 2016 Rule 5 Draft, but the Blue Jays designated him for assignment in July 2017 before returning him to the Royals.
The Royals overcame a 2-1 deficit with a three-run rally with two out in the fourth inning. Jorge Bonifacio’s RBI triple and Hunter Dozier’s RBI double were the big blows, along with a balk by Blue Jays starter Sam Gaviglio.
“That’s important, two-out hits, in a game like this,” Dozier said. “It’s important in any game. We did a good job of that tonight.”
Lucas Duda hit his 11th home run for the Royals, and Rosell Herrera had three hits.