KANSAS CITY -- Jeremy Guthrie felt like throwing the ball out of Kauffman Stadium. But he settled for heaving it into the upper deck as he walked off the field.
That was the strikingly visible sign of his considerable frustration after he threw his last pitch in the Royals' 7-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night at chilly Kauffman Stadium.
Yep, Guthrie had just given up a Colby Rasmus home run that put the Blue Jays ahead, 4-3, in the sixth inning and then he caught a line drive for the third out. What the heck, the ball was in his hand and he was perturbed.
Pretty frustrated, huh?
"Yeah, and I thought a fan upstairs could deserve a ball," Guthrie said slyly. "I mean, everyone down below always gets baseballs so I have a strong arm for the most part, so I figured I'd treat somebody in the third deck with cheap tickets to a nice ball. I'm very fan-friendly."
The ball hit in a vast area of empty seats -- attendance was announced as 11,207 -- and a fan dashed to snare the souvenir.
"A pitcher doesn't often end up with the baseball at the end of an inning when he's frustrated and I think if you gave him the ball more often, I think you'd probably see more things like that. Obviously, I don't get to throw the ball if I don't catch it," Guthrie said.
"My first thought was to throw it out of the stadium, so I did show some discretion."
By this time in the clubhouse, Guthrie was able to offer a small smile. That wasn't the case when Rasmus hit a 1-2 pitch over the right-field wall to snap a 3-3 tie.
"I tried to go down and in on the slider, and didn't get it there," Guthrie said.
That was the second home run that Guthrie gave up. Juan Francisco hammered a two-run jack in the fourth inning, a 421-footer to right field that gave Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle a 3-2 lead.
A nemesis of years standing, Buehrle eventually would get his 24th career win over the Royals and polish his 2014 record to 5-1, tying him for the American League in wins. But it wasn't all that easy.
Billy Butler, as usual, made things difficult for Buehrle with two run-scoring hits, a single and a double. That gave Butler a career mark of .349 (22-for-63) with 17 RBIs against Buehrle.
A second run that didn't score on Butler's third-inning single, though, hurt the Royals. Eric Hosmer tried to follow Omar Infante over home plate, but he was thrown out by left fielder Anthony Gose, who was just called up from Triple-A Buffalo.
"I was surprised to see him getting waved right there," Buehrle said. "It would have been first and third with nobody out. [Gose] came in and made a good throw. I need good defense behind me because the ball is going to be put in play. I don't strike out guys."
Royals manager Ned Yost didn't fault his third-base coach, Dale Sveum, for sending Hosmer, citing the need to be aggressive against a newly-arrived outfielder.
"It was a great throw by the outfielder, Gose. He's got a good arm. It was close, a bang-bang play," Hosmer said. "It just didn't work out for us. It was a good throw and stopped the rally a little bit."
It did do that because Buehrle retired the next two batters, Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon.
The outcome really turned on the Blue Jays' three-run eighth inning against rookie Michael Mariot and Louis Coleman. Mariot gave up a walk and two singles and then forced in a run with another walk. Coleman came in and gave up a two-run single.
"I just struggled with command, it was almost to the point where I was telling myself, 'Don't throw a ball,' instead of trusting it," Mariot said.
Left-handed reliever Aaron Loup, who relieved Buehrle in the seventh, retired all seven batters he faced and got his first save.
Guthrie got his second loss and he hasn't won in his last four starts after posting victories in his first two this season. More reason for his upper-deck ball toss.
Yost was asked if perhaps Guthrie might face a suspension or some discipline.
"No, nobody's said anything about it," Yost said. "It's just strange because he never shows his emotions. It just shows you that he was frustrated, I think, from the pitch that he made to Rasmus. It wasn't the pitch that he wanted to make and he ended up giving up the lead right there."
After discussing his frustration, Guthrie was asked if he expected any repercussions from his toss.
"No, I haven't been overly concerned with repercussions for that. I'm more concerned about the repercussions for a couple of home runs they hit," he said.
The reporter explained he asked because Tigers reliever Fernando Rodney received a three-game suspension and a fine from Major League Baseball for throwing a ball into the press box after a game on Sept. 4, 2009, at Tropicana Field.
"I view it a little different, I guess, to a fan versus into a press box. I don't want to hit [Royals broadcasters] Ryan Lefebvre or [Rex] Hudler," Guthrie said. "I guess sometimes, you might want to hit 'em, but not tonight. I have nothing against Hudler."
What about writers?
"No, I love the writers and I love the fans, and that's what gave me the motivation to throw that up there," he said.
That was a good, long toss. Could he really have thrown the ball all the way out of the stadium?
"I think I could do it, especially if I was a little amped up," Guthrie said.
Well, he seemed to be.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.