Saturday, October 17, 2015
ALCS: ROYALS UP 2-0
Toronto's roller-coaster return to the post-season hit a couple more mighty highs and lows Saturday when the Royals, denied by David Price for six innings, rallied for five runs in the seventh to stun the Jays 6-3 and take a commanding lead in their American League Championship series.
It was a remarkable turnaround to a game that the Jays seemed to have well in command with Price retiring a franchise post-season record 18 in a row after seeing his first pitch slammed into right for a single by Alcides Escobar.
Then the worm turned.
Staked to a 3-0 lead by one run in the third and two in the sixth, Price was cruising until a seventh-inning fielding miscue ended his streak of outs and opened the door for the Royals, who took advantage by sending nine to the plate and scoring five runs.
"Our guys, they never quit. They keep going,'' said Kansas City manager Ned Yost.
The best-of-seven series switches back to Toronto on Monday when Marcus Stroman and Rangers ace Johnny Cueto face off in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series at Rogers Centre.
"Our backs are up against the wall but it will be good to go back home where we normally play well,'' said a subdued Toronto manager John Gibbons, whose team rallied from an 0-2 start to beat Texas in the best-of-five ALDS. "We'll have Stroman going Monday, we'll feel good. But yeah, it's a lot tougher from here but we've got a pretty good team too.''
The Royals opened the series with a comprehensive 5-0 win Friday night, marking just the third time in 47 career post-season games that Toronto had been shut out.
The Jays' free-swinging offence, which averaged 5.5 runs a game in the regular season, has managed a total of three in the first two games of this series - leaving little margin of error in pitching or defence.
Since the best-of-seven series was adopted in 1985, the team that has won Game 2 of the ALC has advanced to the World Series 23 times in 29 series (79 per cent) including 14 of the last 16 (88 per cent).