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Bo Bichette has 3-run triple, Yusei Kikuchi solid as Blue Jays beat Royals 5-3 for 7th win in 9

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Bo Bichette has 3-run triple, Yusei Kikuchi solid as Blue Jays beat Royals 5-3 for 7th win in 9
Sport

Sport

Bo Bichette has 3-run triple, Yusei Kikuchi solid as Blue Jays beat Royals 5-3 for 7th win in 9

2024-04-23 11:09 Last Updated At:11:20

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Bo Bichette had a bases-clearing triple, Daulton Varsho hit a two-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 5-3 on Monday night.

The Jays have won seven of nine. The Royals lost their third straight at home after winning their previous nine at Kauffman Stadium.

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Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Brady Singer throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Bo Bichette had a bases-clearing triple, Daulton Varsho hit a two-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 5-3 on Monday night.

Kansas City Royals' Maikel Garcia celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals' Maikel Garcia celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Daulton Varsho (25) celebrates with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Daulton Varsho (25) celebrates with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. runs home to score on a three-run triple hit by Bo Bichette during the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. runs home to score on a three-run triple hit by Bo Bichette during the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals center fielder Garrett Hampson can't reach a three-run triple hit by Bo Bichette during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals center fielder Garrett Hampson can't reach a three-run triple hit by Bo Bichette during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. runs home to score on a three-run triple hit by Bo Bichette during the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. runs home to score on a three-run triple hit by Bo Bichette during the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Bo Bichette watches his three-run triple during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Bo Bichette watches his three-run triple during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Yusei Kikuchi (2-1) was efficient early, allowing one baserunner on 48 pitches in the first five innings.

“(Kikuchi) was lights out early, he just ran into trouble on the sixth,” Toronto manager John Schneider said. “That’s as efficient as I’ve ever seen him with his pitch count. He was attacking guys, getting weak contact and strikeouts.

"And (we got) huge hits from Bo and Varsho, obviously.”

Kikuchi allowed a two-run home run by Maikel Garcia in the sixth. With two outs, Vinnie Pasquantino hit an infield single and Salvador Perez followed with a double. But Kikuchi retired Nelson Velázquez on a grounder to end the threat.

“My fastball was working really well today,” Kikuchi said through an interpreter. “I was able to throw it up in the zone to a lot to those hitters.”

Right-hander Tyler Duffey, whose contract was selected from Triple-A Omaha earlier Monday, worked two scoreless innings in relief, striking out three.

Jordan Romano surrendered a homer by Kyle Isbel in the ninth but finished for his third save of the season and 100th of his career.

“That’s awesome for him,” Schneider said. “Knowing him for a long time and seeing him as a starter in the minors, a lot of credit goes to him. It’s not easy to do, whether it’s a three-run lead or a one-run lead. He’s been doing it for a number of years now. (I'm) really glad we won, but really happy for him. He’s actually turned himself into a pretty elite closer.”

Brady Singer (2-1) allowed five runs on five hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked three, all of whom scored.

“(Singer) was throwing harder at the beginning of the game,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “He had some good movement on his two-seamer and in his breaking ball. He threw a couple four-seamers in there as well. But he really just got hurt by the walks.”

Singer struck out the first two Toronto batters in the second inning, becoming the 19th Royals pitcher to reach 500 career strikeouts. He tied Steve Busby as the fastest Royals pitcher to achieve the milestone, getting there in his 100th appearance.

“I'm fortunate enough to play this game, so it's really cool,” Singer said.

Singer issued two walks in the third that cost him. His free pass to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. loaded the bases, and Bichette lined a triple off the glove of center fielder Garrett Hampson to score three runs.

Varsho's homer in the sixth made it 5-0, and the Royals' two homers weren't enough.

“The homers are nice,” Quatraro said. “We just need to sustain some things and be able to score in other ways as well.”

TRANSACTIONS

Royals: LHP Anthony Veneziano was optioned to Omaha to make room for Duffey.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Alek Manoah, who has yet to pitch this season because of a shoulder injury, is scheduled to start for Triple-A Buffalo Wednesday or Thursday.

UP NEXT

The four-game series continues Tuesday with Toronto sending Kevin Gausman (0-2, 8.16 ERA) to the mound to face Michael Wacha (1-2, 3.75).

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Brady Singer throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Brady Singer throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals' Maikel Garcia celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals' Maikel Garcia celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Daulton Varsho (25) celebrates with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Daulton Varsho (25) celebrates with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. runs home to score on a three-run triple hit by Bo Bichette during the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. runs home to score on a three-run triple hit by Bo Bichette during the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals center fielder Garrett Hampson can't reach a three-run triple hit by Bo Bichette during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Kansas City Royals center fielder Garrett Hampson can't reach a three-run triple hit by Bo Bichette during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. runs home to score on a three-run triple hit by Bo Bichette during the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. runs home to score on a three-run triple hit by Bo Bichette during the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Bo Bichette watches his three-run triple during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Toronto Blue Jays' Bo Bichette watches his three-run triple during the third inning of a baseball game Monday, April 22, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The looming athlete pay system that will upend the traditional college sports model and still-to-be-determined details about how millions of dollars will be distributed are certain to bring questions about gender equity.

Of special interest will be whether schools must comply with Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in any school or education program that receives federal funds.

There are many questions to be addressed should a $2.77 billion settlement of House vs. NCAA end up being approved by a federal judge in the months ahead after a key step forward by the NCAA and major conferences Thursday night. Among other things, the settlement is expected to allow the nation's wealthiest schools to spend approximately $20 million each year on their own athletes, beginning as soon as next year.

Michael LeRoy, a University of Illinois labor and sports law professor, and Iliana Konidaris, a New York civil rights attorney, said Title IX rules will apply if the schools are tasked with directing payments to athletes.

Konidaris said it will be critical for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to provide guidance on how revenue sharing and name, image and likeness compensation should be paid to keep schools in Title IX compliance.

“If the universities are going to end up exerting control over the revenue sharing,” Konidaris said, “you’re going to need to address pay equity very head-on.”

A New York sports attorney, Christina Stylianou, said her first instinct is that Title IX would not apply because athletes would be essentially selling their media rights to their school. That said, Stylianou expects the Title IX question to be heavily litigated.

The landmark 1972 law is intended to ensure equity between men and women in education. It applies to the classroom, sexual assault and violence on campus, employment, discrimination, admissions, financial assistance with tuition and of course athletics.

Women’s and men’s teams are to be treated equally under the law, though that doesn’t necessarily mean that each sport will have exactly the same budget for equipment, facilities, travel or meals. Athletic departments work under what is known as “equal in effect,” meaning a benefit for a men’s or women’s team in one area can be offset in another area as long as “the overall effects of any differences is negligible.”

LeRoy said he understands the rationale for arguing that football and men's basketball players should receive larger portions of the upcoming revenue because their sports account for nearly all the conference and NCAA broadcast rights fees.

If market value is heavily weighed when determining pay, he said, it would be a stretch to believe there would be a 50-50 split between male and female athletes. But, he said, there need to be provisions for women.

“I’m not making the argument it should be divided up equally,” LeRoy said. “By bringing it inside the athletic department, I don’t expect the distribution to be equal. But there is an inherent contradiction or problem if women get short-changed.”

LeRoy said the situation is reminiscent of the legal action taken by the U.S. women’s soccer national team for unequal pay compared with the U.S. men’s team. The women’s team prevailed in a settlement after initially claiming the U.S. Soccer Federation violated the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.

Though college athletes are not yet considered employees, LeRoy and Konidaris said a legal argument could be made that direct school-to-athlete payments push athletes to the brink of being employees and that Title VII could apply.

“They’re going to have in the settlement the idea (that) this isn’t employment,” LeRoy said. “Then what you’re doing is saying a multibillion-dollar industry called NCAA Athletics is going to be treated differently than any other business in America. You cannot have separate pay.”

If the schools opt to not handle payments in-house and leave athlete compensation to booster-backed collectives eager to connect athletes and sponsorship money, that could be a way to get around Title IX regulations.

Hours after the NCAA settlement was announced, Oklahoma softball player Tiare Jennings was asked about the importance of the step. She pointed to post-college security for athletes.

“I think what they get when they leave college, just to have a foundation, have something for their future families, for themselves, just to have some security blanket when you leave college," she said. "Knowing that you can go invest or start a business, stuff like that, to just kick-start your life.”

Konidaris said schools that take care of their female athletes monetarily could develop stronger women's sports programs.

“The universities that really double down on equity in college sports will be rewarded by better programs for female athletes that I think in the coming 10 years are going to be revenue-generating, just based on public interest and momentum for women’s sport,” Konidaris said.

The recent surge in women's sports popularity, spawned by the star power of basketball players such as Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese and others, could not have been better timed, Konidaris said. Female athletes, she said, should view the moment as “an opportunity to be aggressive, to negotiate as hard as they possibly can to litigate and go after fairness and equity in pay.”

LeRoy agreed it is a pivotal moment for women's sports.

“The question,” he said, "is whether they're going to be stuck with a compensation model for the next 10 years that reflects the past, not the future?”

This version corrects Christina Stylianou's area of practice. Stylianou is a sports attorney, not a civil rights attorney.

AP Sports Writer Cliff Brunt contributed to this report.

AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football

FILE - Southern California's McKenzie Forbes reacts after being presented the Pac-12 tournament Most Valuable Player trophy by Pac-12 Commissioner Teresa Gould after USC defeated Stanford in an NCAA college basketball game for the championship of the Pac-12 tournament March 10, 2024, in Las Vegas. The NCAA and the nation's five biggest conferences have agreed to pay nearly $2.8 billion to settle a host of antitrust claims,a monumental decision that sets the stage for a groundbreaking revenue-sharing model that could start directing millions of dollars directly to athletes as soon as the 2025 fall semester. (AP Photo/Ian Maule, File)

FILE - Southern California's McKenzie Forbes reacts after being presented the Pac-12 tournament Most Valuable Player trophy by Pac-12 Commissioner Teresa Gould after USC defeated Stanford in an NCAA college basketball game for the championship of the Pac-12 tournament March 10, 2024, in Las Vegas. The NCAA and the nation's five biggest conferences have agreed to pay nearly $2.8 billion to settle a host of antitrust claims,a monumental decision that sets the stage for a groundbreaking revenue-sharing model that could start directing millions of dollars directly to athletes as soon as the 2025 fall semester. (AP Photo/Ian Maule, File)

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