The Toronto Blue Jays squared-off with the Kansas City Royals in the first game of the American League Championship Series last night. The winner of the highly sought-after pennant will then represent the American League at the World Series, the great annual meeting between the AL and the National’s Leagues best.
Kansas City dominated, besting the Blue Jays 5 to 0 at Kauffman Stadium. When Toronto last met Kansas City in ALCS play in 1985, Toronto decisively won the first game 6 to 1. Kansas City then went on to take the series 4 to 3, reports Baseball Reference.
Kansas City’s starting pitcher, Edison Volquez, put on an outstanding performance, seemingly confounding Blue Jays hitters. By the end of the night, every single Blue Jay was stopped cold, despite building momentum at some points, the Jays were unable to put any runs on the scoreboard. Volquez had an ERA of 3.55 during the regular season and has been able to hold 2.31 in the post season, according to ESPN. The pitcher faced 24 Blue Jays batters and threw a strike as his first pitch 15 times.
Last night’s championship game was scoreless until the bottom of the third inning. Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar hit a single down the right field line, sending a Royals’ runner to home plate.
Then, still in the bottom of the third, Lorenzo Cain hit another RBI single, putting the Royals ahead 2 to 0.
Despite getting runners on base in the top of the fourth inning, the Blue Jays were not able to capitalize.
Then in the bottom of the fourth inning, Salvador Perez hit a mighty solo-wallop, sending Kansas City fans into a frenzy and the Royals ahead, 3 to 0.
The bottom of the sixth inning saw Toronto successfully turn a double play and block every effort by the Royals to add to their lead. The Royals twice put men on base in the bottom of the sixth, and Toronto was able to keep them away from home plate both times.
More Royals runs came in the bottom of the eighth, when with men on first and second, Eric Hosmer hit a long, but fast dropping fly ball, allowing one Kansas City runner to score, giving the Royals a 4 to 0 lead and leaving two men on base.
Kendrys Morales then hit a sacrifice fly sending another Kansas City runner home and putting the Royals ahead 5 to 0. And that’s how the game ended. Kansas City beat Toronto 5 to 0.
In the end, the Toronto Blue Jays were only able to muster three hits against the Royals. Bautista’s on-base percentage of 0.750 is one of the few eye-raising stats of the night. Toronto hits went to Josh Donaldson, Chris Colabello, and Ryan Goins, according to ESPN.
Two Royals’ hits went to Alcides Escobar and one apiece to Ben Zobrist, Cain, Hosmer, Morales, and Mike Moustakas.
Toronto starting pitcher, Marco Estrada, carried a 3.13 ERA through the regular season and had a win/loss record of 13 and 8. Estrada’s career ERA is 3.95, with 36 wins and 34 losses.
David Price carries the hopes of a nation of baseball fans on his shoulders this afternoon. Price is reported to be the Toronto starter for the 4 p.m. game today, says Heavy. Price boasts a sharp career ERA of 3.08 and an ERA of 2.30 for the 2015 regular season. David Price has been playing MLB baseball since 2008, according to Baseball Reference.
In 2015, David Price posted an incredible 0.900 win/loss ratio, with nine wins and one loss. Price won his last go out, facing Texas on October 12, when he and the Blue Jays were able to take out the Rangers, 8 to 4, according to ESPN.
The next game in the best-of-seven series is scheduled in Kansas City at 4:07 p.m. today. Fox Sports is reported to be broadcasting a live stream of the series.
[Feature Photo by Ed Zurga / Getty Images]