Zobrist's single plated Eric Hosmer from third, and when third-base coach Mike Jirschele sent designated hitter Kendrys Morales chugging toward home, it was clear there would be a play at the plate.
Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista made a strong throw home that beat Morales, who began to slide as catcher Russell Martin turned to make a sweeping tag.
But Martin wound up tagging air as Morales misjudged his slide and came up well short of home plate. But Morales alertly popped straight up and a befuddled Martin couldn't recover quickly enough to tag him. Morales slipped a foot on the plate, safe, and the Royals led, 3-0.
"Once I realized I would be out, it was just a survival-type slide where I slid early and popped up," Morales said. "It was just a thing where I slid early and I was able to get around him. I knew I was safe then."
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.