With a 2-1 series lead in the American League Championship series, the Kansas City Royals would hand the ball to veteran right-hander Chris Young, while the Toronto Blue Jays would go with veteran knucleballer R.A. Dickey.
The game would get out of hand early for the former Cy Young Award winner in Dickey, as the Royals would hammer out four runs in the top of the first inning, en route to a 14-2 victory in Game 4 of the ALCS. With the win, the Royals are one game away from reaching the World Series for the second consecutive season.
It only took four pitches out of Dickey's hand for the Royals to jump out to a 2-0 lead. After an Alcides Escobar bunt single, Ben Zobrist would launch a two-run home run to right field, giving the Royals an early lead.
By the end of the inning, Kansas City would lead 4-0 as Lorenzo Cain scored on a passed ball and Mike Moustakas came through with a sacrifice fly. (Link)
It would be more of the same in the top of the second inning as Alex Rios would hit a solo home run to center field, giving the Royals a 5-0 lead.
With two outs in the inning, R.A. Dickey would be taken out of the ballgame for reliever Liam Hendriks. He finished the game lasting only 1.2 innings and giving up five runs (four earned) on four hits.
The Blue Jays would make a game of it in the bottom of third. Chris Young would allow two batters to reach with one out, and MVP candidate Josh Donaldson would come through with an RBI ground rule double on a 3-2 fastball, making it a 5-1 ballgame. Jose Bautista would proceed with an RBI groundout to second base to tack on another run, making it 5-2.
Both offenses would settle down and keep the score at bay until the top of the seventh inning. Blue Jays relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins would load up the bases with a walk and back-to-back singles by the Royals offense. Hawkins would be relieved for Ryan Tepera, who allowed a sac-fly to Alcides Escobar, threw a wild pitch that scored Alex Gordon, followed by an RBI single by Lorenzo Cain, and another sac-fly to Eric Hosmer.
By the end of the top half of the seventh, Kansas City would lead 9-2 over the Blue Jays. That seemed to be the kill shot as the crowd was taken out of the game and the Toronto dugout was completely in disbelief.
Kansas City would add insult to injury as they added two runs in the top of the eighth on another Escobar sac-fly and another RBI single by Cain. Alcides Escobar would record his third and fourth RBIs of the game with a single to right that scored Kendrys Morales and Alex Gordon, making it a whopping 14-2 ballgame.
The trio of Alcides Escobar-Ben Zobrist-Lorenzo Cain combined to go 6-for-11 with nine RBI and four runs scored.
Royals starter Chris Young would not factor in the decision as he went only 4.2 innings where he allowed two runs on three hits and two walks. Right-hander Luke Hochevar would receive the win as he went 1.1 scoreless innings. As a whole, the Royals bullpen would pitch 4.1 scoreless innings where they allowed only four hits (all singles) and struck out four without walking a single batter.
It got so bad for Toronto, manger John Gibbons would give the ball to middle infielder Cliff Pennington in the ninth inning, who recorded one out and allowed two hits and zero runs. With the appearance, Pennington would become the first position player to take the mound in a postseason game.
Game 5 of the ALCS will be played tomorrow at 4:07 PM EST. The Royals will hand the ball to Edinson Volquez as they look to close out the series, while the Blue Jays will go with Marco Estrada to preserve the series and head back to Kansas City.