Toronto's Marcus Stroman was on Cloud 9 Saturday after making his first major-league start.
Backed by a seven-run first inning, the righthander from Medford pitched six strong innings as the Blue Jays beat the Royals, 12-2, at the Rogers Centre.
"It was awesome to pitch with that kind of run support," Stroman told Newsday. "I felt no pressure and could really attack the zone . . . I definitely like starting better than the relief role. It was amazing to get my first major-league start. I felt really comfortable and like I belonged."
Stroman told reporters that having Toronto's potent lineup behind him was "like playing a video game with a cheat team."
"Everyone is like a 100 level," he said.
Stroman (2-0) allowed one run and five hits. The former Patchogue-Medford High School star walked none and struck out six. "I thought he was terrific," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He showed us something."
Kansas City's batters were impressed with Stroman, too.
"Power fastball, good slider," Royals catcher Brett Hayes said. "He got ahead. He's got good stuff, let's be honest. That slider is pretty filthy."
Gibbons said Stroman is certain to get another turn in Toronto's rotation. "We'd be crazy not to," he said.
Todd Redmond worked the final three innings for his first save.
The Blue Jays gave Stroman all the support he would need with a 12-batter first inning against Royals righthander Aaron Brooks, who also was making his first career start. Toronto set a team record when the first eight batters reached safely against Brooks. Toronto had seven straight reach safely against Baltimore on Sept. 15, 2007.
Jose Reyes led off with a walk, Melky Cabrera was hit by a pitch, Jose Bautista hit an RBI double, Edwin Encarnacion walked to load the bases and Adam Lind hit an RBI single before Brett Lawrie brought home another run when he was hit by a pitch.
Juan Francisco hit a two-run double and Dioner Navarro walked before Brooks finally retired a batter, getting Anthony Gose to ground into a 1-2-3 double play.
Reyes and Cabrera added RBI singles before Michael Mariot came out of the bullpen and got Bautista to foul out to the catcher on his first pitch to end the inning.
With Gregg Sarra