The ALCS took a different turn in game 3, with the Toronto Blue Jays finding their big hitting again to make it a 2-1 series in favor of the Kansas City Royals after an 11-8 win.
Moving back home seems to have worked wonders for the Blue Jays, scoring only three runs in the first two games including getting shut out in game 1. The Royals scored first and last in something of a comeback in the ninth inning, but a dominant second, third and fifth inning stretch made most of the difference, including home runs from Troy Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson and Ryan Goins while Marcus Stroman picked up the win on the mound.
While Tulowitzki provided what was probably the biggest hit of the night, a three-run homer in the third to put the Blue Jays up 6-2 and never look back, he was also ejected before the top of the eighth after arguing with plate umpire John Hirschbeck. He was struck out looking in the seventh, and had to be held back by teammates and even manager John Gibbons and bench coach DeMarlo Hale.
The Royals actually got more hits in the game (15 to 11) but got just one home run in the batch and were 3-for-10 in scoring situations, while the Blue Jays had three long balls and went 5-for-11 with runners in scoring positions. Stroman allowed 11 hits in 6.1 innings while the loss was more spread out for Kansas City, as Johnny Cueto allowed six hits but his relievers didn’t do a much better job in the short time they had on the mound.
I feel like we’ve played better at home, and I felt like the entire night we had great at-bats. Not just good at-bats — great at-bats. You could not tell in the clubhouse if we’re down 0-2 or up 2-0. What we have is extremely special. The confidence that everybody has with everybody is amazing.
Blue Jays fans were very vocal regarding Cueto and wouldn’t relent all game long until he was replaced, maybe having some sort of effect on him. With a 10-4 lead in the fifth, they felt confident enough to start singing happy birthday to Jose Bautista, who hit the final RBI of the game for the Blue Jays in the 8th, before the Royals got four runs back in the ninth, including a two-run homer by Kendrys Morales, which was the last of the Royals attempts to somehow get back in the game.