Toronto's Early Struggles
Going to Toronto, the Blue Jays knew they needed to return to their regular season form. They had entered the postseason as the best offense in the league, but through the ALDS and now the first two games of the ALCS they had been struggling.
They may have gotten through the ALDS, but there was no exceptionally high-scoring game. Through the ALCS so far, they had only scored three runs across the two games.
Toronto showed everyone that they could be the same Blue Jays they were in the regular season Monday night when the beat the Royals 11-8 to cut the Royals' ALCS lead 2-1. The Blue Jays were carried by Troy Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson, and Ryan Goins who each homered to help propel the Blue Jays to victory.
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Despite Tulowitzki's three RBI night, he was ejected in the eighth inning for arguing about the strike zone. Ryan Goins also contributed three RBIs, while Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion had two hits each. All in all, everyone in the Blue Jays' [starting] lineup reached base once.
For the Royals, their starter was on the wrong side of history as he became the first starting pitcher in postseason history to surrender eight or more runs while recording six or fewer outs.
For Cueto, the struggles came one game after pitching like an ace for the team.
This game marked an opportunity for the Royals to take a lead in the series that could have put them in a favorable position to reach the World Series much quicker. Cueto spoke after the game and said (through an interpreter),
"The mound in the bullpen was higher than the real one, and I couldn't get my pitches down. It's no excuse. They just beat me."
Blue Jays Bounce Back
On the Blue Jays' side, Marcus Stroman got the win but didn't have the strongest start. He gave up runs early in the first and third innings. His in 6 1/3 innings he was charged with four runs through 11 hits and a walk. For the bullpen, it was mostly smooth sailing aside from a Kendrys Morales two-run homer in the ninth inning.
Speaking about the strong offensive showing from his team, manager John Gibbons said,
"We desperately needed that breakout, you look at how the game finished up, those runs really came in handy. It wasn't an easy game, even though we had a big lead."
While the Blue Jays showed they weren't a team to be messed around with, they will need to keep showing it to get a tie and then get ahead in the series.
Going Forward: Game Four
Kansas City calls on Chris Young to start his first game this postseason. In game one of the ALDS, he came out of the bullpen to throw four innings and strike out seven batters.
He will try to improve Kansas City's 1-4 record at Rogers Centre this season with a strong performance. Toronto gives the ball to R.A. Dickey who made his last start in game four of the ALDS. He allowed one run over 4 2/3 innings against the Rangers.