The Toronto Blue Jays returned home to Toronto for game three of the American League Championship Series needing a win over the Kansas City Royals to get back in the series.
A little home cooking is good for the soul, and apparently it was good for the bats of the Blue Jays as they were clicking on all cylinders at the plate.
The Royals, however, were the first to crack the scoreboard in this one right off of the bat in the top of the first inning. Alcides Escobar tripled to lead off the game after a miss play by Jose Bautista in right field. That led to Ben Zobrist driving Escobar in from third to give Kansas City an early 1-0.
It seemed like it was going to be a rough game once again for the Blue Jays, but that was not the case.
The Blue Jays got the bats going in the second inning putting a three spot up on the board. It started off when Ryan Goins singled to left to score Troy Tulowitzki and Kevin Pillar from second who just slid in safe under the tag at the plate. Two batters later, MVP candidate Josh Donaldson hit an RBI single to left and the Blue Jays were in business up 3-1.
The Royals tacked another run on in the third from an RBI by Eric Hosmer, but after that, it was all Toronto.
In the bottom of the third, the Blue Jays posted a six spot and forced Royals starter Johnny Cueto from the game. It all started with a three-run home run from Troy Tulowitzki to break this game open and give them a 6-2 lead. That wasn't all though. A Kevin Pillar RBI double and a two-run home run by Josh Donaldson had the Blue Jays up 9-2 after three innings.
As for Cueto, he lasted just two plus innings giving up eight runs on six hits while striking out two and walking four. As Cueto walked off the mound, Cueto got flashbacks from the 2013 Wild Card game in Pittsburgh as the fans chanted 'Cueto, Cueto' as he made his exit.
On the Blue Jays side, Marcus Stroman started and turned in a solid outing in this one. Stroman went 6.1 innings giving up four runs on 11 hits while striking out one and walking one.
The Royals weren't going away as they tacked on two more runs in the fifth behind a wild pitch by Stroman which scored Alcides Escobar from third and a Mike Moustakas RBI single. Then in the bottom half of the inning, Ryan Goins put those Royals hopes to bed as he hit a solo home run to extend the Blue Jays lead to 10-4.
In between the seventh and eighth innings, Troy Tulowitzki was ejected by home plate umpire John Hirschbeck after yelling at him from his shortstop position while taking the field after Tulo disagreed with a called third strike in the previous inning.
The Blue Jays just kept hitting as in the eighth inning, the birthday boy Jose Bautista drove in speedster Ben Revere to give the Blue Jays an 11-4 lead.
The Royals wouldn't quit as they made a game of it scoring four runs in the ninth. Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer both chipped in with RBIs, then Kendrys Morales crushed a two-run home run to make it 11-8, but it was just too little too late.
Kansas City outhit Toronto 15 to 11, but it was the extra base hits that were difference in this one.
With the series now tight as the Royals hold a 2-1 lead, game four will be a major deciding factor in how the rest of this series plays out.
In game four, the Royals will send big man Chris Young to the hill to face off against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey for the Blue Jays. First pitch is scheduled for 4:07 EST Tuesday on FS1 from Rogers Centre in Toronto.
WP: Marcus Stroman
LP: Johnny Cueto