The Kansas City Royals are looking like the team of destiny in the American League Championship Series. After doing absolutely nothing against David Price for six innings, the Royals rallied to defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3.
The Royals erupted for six runs in the seventh inning to complete a heart-stopping comeback victory. The win put the Royals up 2-0 in the best of seven series.
David Price allowed a leadoff single in the first to Alcides Escobar then seemed to be on cruise control. He retired the next 18 Royals batters in a row. But the determined Royals strung together six hits to score five runs in the seventh and overcome an early 3-0 deficit. It was a monumental collapse for Price. He fell to 2-7 in nine postseason starts.
Meanwhile, according to ESPN, the reigning American League champion Royals have won nine straight ALCS games dating to their memorable seven-game series against Toronto in 1985 — the year they won their only World Series. The record is 10 straight wins set by Baltimore in the 1970s and 1980s.
For most of the game, it seemed as if the Royals would have to be satisfied with a 1-1 series tie. The way Price was slicing through the Kansas City lineup, it was looking like a long night. He threw first-pitch strikes to 12 of 14 batters at one point, and struck out the side in the sixth inning. There was no indication he was about to break down and give the Royals an opportunity to get back into the game.
Ben Zobrist sent a lazy pop-fly to shallow right field to start the seventh. Goins and Bautista gave chase. The ball wound up falling safely between both of them and the rally was on. When Mike Moustakas came up, in a 2-for-25 slump and without an RBI this postseason, he pulled a tying double to right field and the crowd of 40,357 went crazy.
Royals’ manager Ned Yost was proud of his troops and backed that sentiment, via the Toronto Times Colonist.
“Our guys, they never quit. They keep going.”
Marcus Stroman and Royals’ ace Johnny Cueto face-off in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series at Rogers Centre.
“Our backs are up against the wall but it will be good to go back home where we normally play well,” said a subdued Toronto manager John Gibbons, whose team rallied from an 0-2 start to beat Texas in the best-of-five ALDS. “We’ll have Stroman going Monday, we’ll feel good. But yeah, it’s a lot tougher from here but we’ve got a pretty good team too.”
David Price lost a game he shouldn’t have. The miscommunication in the seventh inning cost him a gem. He set two franchise records. His eight strikeouts were a Jays’ playoff mark. Retiring 18 straight helped him join some select company. The Royals took advantage of the mistake to pull out a victory.
Cueto set down 19 in a row earlier this week in Game 5 of the Royals’ ALDS, the longest streak in an AL post-season game since the Yankees’ Don Larsen retired 27 straight Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, the only perfect game in post-season history.
The Royals are hoping to go perfect against the Blue Jays.
[Feature Photo by Jamie Squire / Getty Images]