One day after the Blue Jays erupted for 11 runs in game three of the ALCS, the Royals showed they still had a strong offense too. Not only this, but their pitching stepped up to show how well-rounded a team they are. After falling into a deficit early in the game, the Blue Jays could not fight back and eventually took the loss 14-2 to further their ALCS deficit to 1-3.
Shaky Start for Dickey, Royals offense crushes
The Royals jumped on Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey quick for five runs in the first two innings. After scoring four runs in the first inning, two from a Ben Zobrist home run, they scored another in the second, courtesy of an Alex Rios home run.
This marked one of Dickey's worst outing by virtue of the fact that it lasted one and two-thirds innings (1 2/3). Not only this, but it is the shortest start by a Blue Jays pitcher in postseason history. Manager John Gibbons decided that after five runs and only five outs, Dickey's night was over.
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On the Royals' side, Chris Young gave Kansas City exactly what they needed. He had 4 2/3 innings of solid pitching and the only struggle he faced was an RBI double off the bat of Josh Donaldson.
For the Royals, this was, of course, a game carried by their offense where the pitching was just a supplement to the offensive onslaught in this game. The bullpen still delivered a great performance with Luke Hochevar getting the Royals out of a possible Blue Jays comeback in the fifth inning.
Speaking about the situation in the fifth inning Hochevar said,
"You just have to have the mind-set that you don't want to fall behind, it's a tight game there. You don't want to walk him, and you want to be aggressive. But it's a fine line. He's a good hitter. I was fortunate to make a good pitch there."
It ain't over til it's over
While the Royals are in a good spot they know that it isn't over til it's over.
Speaking about his team's place in the series, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said,
"We've still got work to do, this feels good, but we know how that team is over there."
Hosmer [and the rest of the Royals] understand that the Blue Jays aren't done fighting till the last out. It isn't the first time they've been on the brink of elimination and it wouldn't be the first time they've come back either. Just this postseason they fought back a 0-2 deficit in the ALDS to advance to the ALCS. Yet there is a lot that needs to be done as the series shifts back to Kansas City for the rest of the ALCS, a disadvantage the Blue Jays cannot afford to shake them.
Going Forward: Game Five
For the decisive game five the Royals send game one starter Edison Volquez to the hill. Volquez had a strong start in that game, giving up just two runs in six innings, along with six strikeouts. He is matched up against the Blue Jays' game one starter, Marco Estrada. Estrada didn't have the strongest outing, giving up three runs over 5 1/3 innings.
For each team, this game is obviously crucial in their own way. For the Royals, it is the line between game six and the AL pennant and for the Blue Jays it's the line between game six and the end of their season.