Royals beat Jays for 2-0 lead in ALCS, Mets win opener

ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 18, 2015 11:56 AM
Royals beat Jays for 2-0 lead in ALCS, Mets win opener
Kansas City Royals' Alex Gordon hits an RBI double against the Toronto Blue Jays during the seventh inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) — Kansas City's dormant bats sprang to life with a five-run seventh inning that rallied the Royals from a three-run deficit to a 6-3 victory over Toronto on Saturday, delivering a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.

The Royals had been held to one hit by Toronto starter David Price before stringing together four singles and a double in their go-ahead inning.

In the National League Championship Series, the New York Mets won 4-2 at home in the opening game against the Chicago Cubs, with Daniel Murphy continuing his fine form with a homer and a diving stop on the game-ending play.

Ben Zobrist's easy fly somehow fell in for a safe hit to start Kansas City's rally, and the hosts got run-producing hits from Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon and Alex Rios, along with an RBI groundout from Kendrys Morales.

It was a monumental collapse for Price, who had at one point recorded 18 straight outs. A dominant pitcher in the regular season, he fell to a 0-7record in playoff starts.

Royals closer Wade survived a shaky ninth inning in which he gave up a leadoff single and then a walk. He struck out Ben Revere and Josh Donaldson before Jose Bautista then flied out to right to give Davis his third postseason save and the Royals another postseason comeback win.

The reigning AL champs 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 '80s.

Now, the Blue Jays head home for Game 3 on Monday in dire trouble. All but three of the previous 25 teams to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven era have won the series — though Toronto did rally from the same hole to beat the Rangers in five games in the divisional round.

For most of the game, it appeared the Blue Jays would tie the series.

Ryan Goins drove in a run off Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura in the third, snapping an 18-inning scoreless streak by Royals pitchers, and Edwin Encarnacion and Troy Tulowitzki had RBIs in the sixth.

The way Price was carving up the lineup, a 3-0 lead looked to be enough.

He threw first-pitch strikes to 12 of 14 batters at one point, and struck out the side in the sixth inning, giving no indication he was about to implode.

The Royals' rally began after a costly defensive lapse.

Zobrist sent a popup to shallow right field to start the seventh, and Goins gave chase from second base and Bautista from right field. Both wound up letting it drop for a single, and for the first time all game, a sellout crowd at Kauffman Stadium began to stir.

Cain followed with a clean single to extend his postseason hit streak to 11 games, matching a franchise record. Hosmer's single got the Royals on the board, and Morales added an RBI groundout up the middle, before Moustakas came up. In a 2-for-25 slump and without an RBI this postseason, he pulled a tying double to right field.

Gordon's double gave Kansas City the lead. Rios added another single off reliever Aaron Sanchez to end the game for Price, who was tagged for all five runs in one disastrous inning.

The Royals tacked on another run in the eighth.

Meanwhile in New York, Mets starter Matt Harvey pitche 7-2/3 strong innings to guide the home team to a 4-2 victory in the NLCS opener.

Harvey allowed two runs and struck out nine, leaving after allowing a Kyle Schwarber home run.

Jeurys Familia completed the four-out save, but needed help from Murphy. Familia allowed a two-out double in the ninth — the first hit he had given up in the postseason — and the next batter got a crisp shot that was angling toward right field, only for Murphy to dive to his left, take the ball on the hop, spring up and get the throw to first base in time for the final out.

Earlier, Murphy homered in the first inning off Jon Lester. Murphy has homers in three straight playoff games, matching a Mets record.

Starlin Castro tied the score in the fifth inning with an RBI double, but Curtis Granderson's RBI single in the bottom of the fifth gave New York a 2-1 lead.

Travis D'Arnaud homered in the sixth for the Mets, and Granderson made it 4-2 with a seventh-inning sacrifice fly.

Major league wins leader Jake Arrieta starts for the Cubs on Sunday against Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard.

 

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