The KC Royals out-hit Toronto (15-11) and had plenty of chances to score, but the host Blue Jays won Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, 11-8.
When Royals leadoff hitter Alcides Escobar swings at the first pitch, the Royals win. Well, he swung at the first pitch to leadoff the game and tripled on the second pitch. He came around to score on Ben Zobrist‘s ground out to give the Royals a 1-0 lead.
That was three pitches into the game for Toronto’s Marcus Stroman. He battled into and out of trouble through 6.1 innings (11 hits and a walk), but the Blue Jays offense (and defense) bailed him out.
Well, Royals starter Johnny Cueto could not replicate his Game 5 start tonight. This start was UGLY, as he lasted just two-plus innings (he faced six batters in the third). He threw 69 pitches (39 for strikes).
Cueto allowed three runs in the bottom of the second, which started with a one out single followed by a hit batter. Kevin Pillar grounded into a force out (the out coming at second base), but Pillar then stole second base without a throw. Ryan Goins drove in both runners with a single.
Cueto then walked Ben Revere and Josh Donaldson followed with an RBI single.
After the Royals scored a run in the top of the third to make it 3-2, Cueto allowed a three-run home run to Troy Tulowitzki in the bottom of the inning (three batters into the inning). It was the Blue Jays first home run of the ALCS.
Cueto then walked Russell Martin, before Kevin Pillar drove him in with a double. That hit chased Cueto from the game and in came Kris Medlen to make his Royals postseason debut.
For not pitching since October 1st, Medlen saved the Royals bullpen with an afternoon start to Game 4. Sure he allowed two solo home runs, but he gave the Royals five innings of relief (just three hits and a walk while striking out six).
With the big deficit, it allowed Royals manager Ned Yost to use lefty Franklin Morales for the first time this postseason. He allowed a run on two hits and a walk in the bottom of the eighth.
The Royals did get some offense going in the ninth against former teammate Liam Hendriks. He allowed three hits and two runs, with his only out being recorded on a sac fly to deep right field. That forced Blue Jays manager John Gibbons to go to 20 year old closer Roberto Osuna with an 11-6 lead and a runner on first base.
Kendrys Morales, the first base runner faced by Osuna, hit a LONG home run to make it an 11-8 game. Osuna then induced two ground outs to end the game.
The Royals will send Chris Young to the mound for the Game 4 start. The Blue Jays will counter with RA Dickey. This game could be an epic battle of veterans or a battle of the bullpens.
*Lorenzo Cain now has a 12-game hitting streak in the postseason (a new record). He extended the streak with a single in the third.