MLB Playoffs: Blue Jays down Royals to stave off postseason elimination
TORONTO - Marco Estrada pitched into the eighth inning, Troy Tulowitzki had three RBIs and the Toronto Blue Jays staved off elimination with a 7-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series.
Marco Estrada pitched into the eighth inning, Troy Tulowitzki had three RBIs and the Toronto Blue Jays staved off elimination with a 7-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series.
Estrada (2-1) faced one batter above the minimum before Royals catcher Salvador Perez homered to right with two outs in the eighth inning.
When left fielder Alex Gordon followed with a single, right-hander Aaron Sanchez replaced Estrada. Right fielder Alex Rios singled and shortstop Alcides Escobar flied to right to end the inning.
Estrada allowed one run, three hits and one walk with five strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.
The Royals lead the best-of-seven series 3-2, with Game 6 scheduled for Friday at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
Tulowitzki doubled with the bases loaded against right-handed reliever Kelvin Herrera for the only hit in the four-run sixth inning.
Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez (1-2) did not retire a batter in Toronto's four-run sixth. He allowed five runs, three hits and four walks and hit a batter in five-plus innings.
Estrada retired Escobar on a grounder to third on the first pitch of the game. It was the first time in the ALCS that Escobar failed to lead off a game with a hit. The four straight games with a leadoff hit are a postseason record.
First baseman Chris Colabello homered with one out in the second inning to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead. It was his second postseason homer.
After Colabello's homer, Volquez allowed a walk in the second inning and infield hits in the fourth and fifth.
Estrada retired the first nine hitters before Escobar led off the fourth with a single, but he was erased when second baseman Ben Zobrist grounded into a double play.
The Royals were having little luck with Estrada, although Perez brought a gasp from the crowd with a long fly open the sixth that center fielder Kevin Pillar caught at the warning track.
Left fielder Ben Revere led off the Toronto sixth with a walk and third baseman Josh Donaldson was hit by a pitch.
Right fielder Jose Bautista fouled off four 97 mph fastballs on a full count before walking to load the bases. Designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion walked on a full count to force in a run and give Toronto a 2-0 lead.
Herrera replaced Volquez, who was not pleased with some of the calls. Herrera struck out Colabello, but Tulowitzki cleared the bases with a double to center and Toronto led 5-0.
Estrada allowed his second runner of the game when he walked center fielder Lorenzo Cain with two outs in the seventh but ended the inning when first baseman Eric Hosmer flied out to left.
Cain was 0-for-3 to end a 13-game postseason hitting streak.
The Blue Jays added a run in the seventh on doubles by Donaldson and Bautista against left-hander Danny Duffy. Toronto scored again in the eighth on a single by Tulowitzki and a double by Pillar, who was out trying for a triple.