Third time's a charm for Blue Jays vs. Ventura

Toronto knocks out KC righty with two-run sixth inning

Third time's a charm for Blue Jays vs. Ventura

KANSAS CITY -- It was only a matter of time. The Blue Jays' potent offense was bound to break through at some point against the Royals in this American League Championship Series, and Toronto did so Saturday afternoon in the same frame that tripped them up one night earlier.

In the sixth inning of their 6-3 loss in Game 2 of the ALCS (Game 3 on Monday at Rogers Centre at 7 p.m. ET air time on FOX Sports 1/Sportsnet, with first pitch slated for 8:07 p.m.), the Blue Jays struck for a pair of runs against Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura, chasing him from the contest and running their lead to 3-0 on the defending AL champions. The frame served as a bit of redemption for Toronto, which could not deliver in a similar scenario in the sixth inning of a 5-0 loss to the Royals in Game 1 Friday night.

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Ventura has labored when facing a lineup a third time in his outings this season, and the Blue Jays capitalized on that weakness on Saturday.

Game Date Matchup
Gm 1 Oct. 16 KC 5, TOR 0
Gm 2 Oct. 17 KC 6, TOR 3
Gm 3 Oct. 19 TOR 11, KC 8
Gm 4 Oct. 20 KC 14, TOR 2
Gm 5 Oct. 21 TOR 7, KC 1
Gm 6 Oct. 23 KC 4, TOR 3

Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista -- who each reached to open the sixth on Friday, but were ultimately stranded -- opened Saturday's rally with an infield single and a walk, respectively. That set things up for slugger Edwin Encarnacion, who returned to the lineup despite a sprained ligament in his left middle finger. Encarnacion delivered an RBI single to left field to push Toronto in front, 2-0.

Following a strikeout by Chris Colabello, Troy Tulowitzki -- mired in an October slump -- came through with a run-scoring double that added some insurance. On Friday night, Tulowitzki struck out to end Toronto's chances in the pivotal sixth inning that helped Kansas City to the win. Ventura then walked Russell Martin in Saturday's sixth, convincing Royals manager Ned Yost to emerge from the dugout and pull the plug on the righty's outing.

During the regular season, Ventura allowed an .854 OPS when facing batters for the third time in his starts. That includes a .506 slugging percentage, which is much higher than his marks the first time (.333) or second time (.345) through an order. On Saturday, the Blue Jays went 3-for-5 with two walks against Ventura the third time.

Royals reliever Luke Hochevar took over for Ventura with one out and the bases loaded in the sixth, but he escaped further harm by inducing a flyout off the bat of Kevin Pillar and a groundout from Ryan Goins.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.