Not exactly the start we were hoping for. The offensive powerhouse Blue Jays must have left their bats in Toronto. Marco Estrada had a decent performance, but it is tough to win when your team gets shutout. On the bright side, David Price starts tomorrow.
Edinson Volquez struck out Ben Revere to begin the game, freezing him on a front door sinker. Josh Donaldson worked a full count before crushing a pitch to the warning track, but Lorenzo Cain calmly tracked it down. Jose Bautista reached base with a six-pitch walk, but Encarnacion would quickly ground out to third. Volquez was hitting 97mph on the radar gun, but was forced to throw 22 pitches in the first.
Marco Estrada did not get off to a great start, with Alcides Escobar ripping the first pitch for a double. Estrada immediately fell into a 3-0 count to Ben Zobrist, but responded with five straight strikes and induced an easy fly out. Lorenzo Cain hit a groundball back to Marco, who got Escobar in a run down for the second out of the inning. Hosmer would hit a weak groundball to strand the runner and Estrada was able to work himself out of an early jam.
Toronto went down in order in the second, but Colabello and Tulowitzki each made solid contact. Estrada responded with a 1-2-3 inning of his own, striking out Morales and Moustakas in the process. Kevin Pillar, of all people, started the 3rd with a leadoff walk. Ryan Goins immediately laid down a successful sacrifice bunt, but Ben Revere followed with an easy flyout to centre. It was up to Donaldson to cash him in, but his hard hit groundball was right at Escobar.
The Royals started the scoring in the bottom half. Gordon began the inning by hitting a line drive down the right field line, the second leadoff double in three innings. Rios struck out on a beautiful changeup, but Escobar hit yet another first pitch double to give Kansas City a 1-0 lead. A two-out single from Lorenzo Cain would score Escobar and make it 2-0.
Volquez pitched around a two-out single off of the bat of Chris Colabello to put the Blue Jays back in the field quickly. In the bottom half, Estrada struck out Morales and Moustakas yet again, but Perez belted a two-out solo shot to extend the lead to 3-0.
The Blue Jays still could not solve Volquez in the fifth. Ryan Goins lined a two-out single for his first hit of the playoffs, but plenty of weak contact put yet another zero on the scoreboard. Alex Rios just missed leading off the bottom half with a home run, though Estrada responded with a quick inning of his own.
Toronto's big bats were due up in the 6th and got off to a great start. Donaldson and Bautista began the inning with back-to-back nine pitch walks. Things were finally looking up for the Jays offence, but they were unable to cash in yet again. Encarnacion struck out, Colabello hit a line drive right at Alex Gordon in left, and Troy Tulowitzki simply watched a hittable strike three go by him. Though Volquez walked four in six innings of work, Toronto could only manage two hits.
In the bottom half, Ryan Goins and Troy Tulowitzki turned a spectacular double play to keep the game at 3-0. Aaron Loup entered to induce the groundball with runners on the corners and just one out. Goins came across to the left side of the infield, and flipped the ball to second. Tulowitzki caught it with his bare hand and fired a strike to first to get Mike Moustakas by an inch. The 7th inning was not exactly as exciting as it was on Wednesday night, with Kelvin Herrera and Mark Lowe doing quick work.
After Revere grounded out to start the eighth, Donaldson and Bautista reached base once again. Edwin Encarnacion did not hit due to a strained finger, and Justin Smoak entered to promptly foul out. The tying run was at the plate in Chris Colabello, but he would ground out to end the frame.
LaTroy Hawkins came into pitch the bottom eighth and was rocked for two runs. John Gibbons seems to think he is more effective than Liam Hendriks, which is...cute. The Royals took a 5-0 lead into the ninth, setting up Luke Hochevar to complete the shutout. Yet again the Blue Jays went down in short order, ending the game with just three hits.
Jay of the Day: Jose Bautista (.100) just hit the number thanks to drawing 3 walks.
Suckage: The entire offence can share the honour, other than Bautista and maybe Donaldson. Marco Estrada was not all that bad, but LaTroy Hawkins deserves one for a brutal outing.
The Jays will look to even the series tomorrow afternoon. David Price will be up against Yordano Ventura for a 4:07 PM start.