Royals

Story of the game: Royals 5, Blue Jays 0

Eric Hosmer connected for a double that gave the Royals an insurance run in the eighth inning of Game 1 of ALCS.
Eric Hosmer connected for a double that gave the Royals an insurance run in the eighth inning of Game 1 of ALCS. along@kcstar.com

1Can’t take advantage

Edinson Volquez opened the game with a strikeout of Ben Revere, who took a called third strike. The pitch showed nasty movement that fooled Revere. Jose Bautista walked with two outs, but Edwin Encarnacion grounded into a fielder’s choice. Alcides Escobar opened the Royals’ half with a double, but the Royals failed to score.

0-0

KC-TOR

2All is quiet

After needing 24 pitches to get through the first inning, Volquez set the Blue Jays down in order on just a half-dozen pitches. The Royals went down in order, and the score remained the same.

0-0

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3Royals take the lead

Toronto made its first bit of noise as Kevin Pillar walked and took second on Ryan Goins’ sacrifice bunt. Pillar never advanced from there. Alex Gordon doubled down the the right-field line in the Royals’ half and scored on a one-out double by Escobar. After Zobrist grounded out, Lorenzo Cain laced a single to right and made it 2-0.

2-0

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4Boom goes the dynamite

Chris Colabello’s two-out single was the Blue Jays’ first hit of the game and the first the Royals had allowed since the second inning of Game 5 of the ALDS. Volquez brushed it aside and struck out Troy Tulowitzki on a change-up. Kendrys Morales and Mike Moustakas struck out for the Royals, but Salvador Perez launched a solo shot to left-center field on the first pitch from Marco Estrada, and the packed house at Kauffman Stadium gave its resounding approval.

3-0

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5Volquez humming along

Goins hit a clean single with two outs, but it mattered little as Revere grounded out to Moustakas at third base. The Royals didn’t do anything in their half of the inning, going down in order.

3-0

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6“Eddie, Eddie!”

Volquez ran into his first bit of trouble as Josh Donaldson and Bautista walked to start the inning. But Volquez seemed to be energized by the Kauffman crowd, which began chanting “Eddie, Eddie,” and he struck out Encarnacion and got Colabello to fly to Gordon in left. His 111th and final pitch of the night caught Tulowitzki looking as Volquez escaped the jam. The Royals missed a chance to pad their lead when Hosmer reached on a one-out error by Donaldson and moved to third on a single by Morales. But Moustakas hit into a 4-6-3 double play that ended the inning. It was started on a slick play by Goins at second base. Moustakas hit a slow chopper past the mound, but Goins rushed in and tossed to Tulowitzki, who made a smooth turn.

3-0

KC-TOR

7Herrera wows everyone

Unfortunately for Toronto, this likely won’t be the only appearance for Royals relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera. He needed just nine pitches to get two strikeouts and a harmless pop-up to Zobrist at second base. All nine were strikes. The Royals didn’t get on base in their half, but with a three-run lead that didn’t matter.

3-0

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8And ... breath

Ryan Madson replaced Herrera and got in a bit of a spot. With one out, Donaldson singled and Bautista was hit by a pitch. But Madson buckled down. Pinch hitter Justin Smoak popped up to Hosmer in foul ground near first, and Colabello grounded into a fielder’s choice. Crisis averted. Toronto reliever LaTroy Hawkins hit Escobar with a pitch, and Zobrist reached on an infield single. After an out, Hosmer missed a homer to right by maybe 2 feet and Escobar sped home. Morales hit a sacrifice fly that scored Zobrist.

5-0

KC-TOR

9Hochevar closes it out

No save situation, so Luke Hochevar finished out the game. He got Tulowitkzi on an easy grounder to Moustakas at third. Moose made an error on a ball by the next batter, but Hochevar got an out on a fielder’s choice and a fly ball to left.

5-0

KC-TOR

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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