Ryan Goins may have taken ownership for a pivotal error to cost the Blue Jays game two of the ALCS, but at least 50,000 people forgave him tonight. He made sure of it.
With runners on second and third, Goins worked a perfect piece of hitting. The man who continued to take heat heading into game three, stepped off the carpet and into the box. After quickly going down 0-2, the second baseman worked a nine pitch at-bat, registering the biggest hit of the series to date. An RBI double to the left-center gap would spring the bats into action.
Josh Donaldson made it 3-1 for Toronto with an RBI single.
Kansas City executed and crawled within one in the third inning. Ben Zobrist, who Blue Jays’ General Manager Alex Anthopoulos heavily pursued before the trade deadline, hit his second of three doubles before Lorenzo Cain moved him over with an infield single. With the hit, Cain extended his postseason streak to 12 games, further solidifying his name in the Royals record book.
Ned Yost and his club would need a lot more than that as the Blue Jays exploded in the bottom half of the inning.
With blue tape and a brace wrapped around his ailing hand, Edwin Encarnacion registered his fourth hit of the series to lead off the frame. Chris Colabello walked before Troy Tulowitzki hit a three run deep fly.
The three-RBI home run may be his second of the postseason, but it is the first time a Toronto player has been able accomplish the feat in franchise history. Tulowitzki has been an absolute monster when Toronto is down 0-2 in a series. Overall, he is 4-7 with 2 HRs, 7 RBI, and 3 R when the blue and white trail by two games. Josh Donaldson hit his third bomb shortly after, tying him with Joe Carter, Paul Molitor, and Candy Maldanado for all-time postseason home runs.
Kevin Pillar extended his hitting streak to three games, giving the Blue Jays a five-run lead at the time and forcing Johnny Cueto to exit before recording an out. The fans in Toronto may have been somewhat responsible for the poor outing of Cueto, who was visibly upset with them at times.
His opposition, Marcus Stroman, wasn’t his strongest or his usual self, but still did what he had to in order to minimize the bats of Kansas City. His reliable changeup got beat up tonight, and is something to look for if he gets another shot.
Johnny Cueto line: 2.0IP 6H 8ER 4BB 2K
Marcus Stroman line: 6.1IP 11H 4ER 1BB 1K
Ryan Goins didn’t stop his offensive outburst, delivering a ball into the right field stands to give Toronto their tenth run and put the game out of reach. Goins would join Roberto Alomar as one of two second basemen to hit a home run in the postseason. “Let’s get one thing straight, Ryan Goins is one of the best defensive second baseman in the game right now, at the end of the day he came back and showed up for us,” Josh Donaldson said after the game. “I couldn’t be happier for him,” added Kevin Pillar, “he doesn’t get enough credit for what he does with the bat.”
Toronto had yet to hit a home run in the series; they hit three tonight, with two coming before the third inning.
To give Kansas City credit, they never went away. They have feasted off late-game comebacks, and only came up three runs short after stringing together four runs in the ninth. Closer Roberto Osuna gave up his first earned run on a towering shot to Kendrys Morales, but was able to preserve the 11-8 victory.
Toronto had been criticized for their lack of offense with runners in scoring position, hitting only .188 before tonight. Flying home proved to do wonders for them, where they hit 6-9 with RISP.