JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, it's been a battle for him. He's still in pain with that shoulder. But you look at it, really, in two must-win games he's had the big home runs. Down there in Texas, down 0-2, he hit that big home run to help us win that one down there. And this game right here, back's against the wall, he hits another three-run homer.
He hasn't been getting a lot of hits, but he has lately, but they've been big, big hits.
Q. (INAUDIBLE) can you explain your thinking behind bringing him into the game tonight?
JOHN GIBBONS: Well, I mean, you know, it's a playoff game that you need to win. And things were starting to roll the other way. Ideally he doesn't get into that game, but it's not an ideal world. You're feeling good, but you're not. Things are starting to happen. Normal game, regular season game he's not in there yet. But didn't want to use him, had to use him.
Q. Given how things went for Ryan going into Game 2, nice to see a little bit of redemption for him?
JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, it was. And he felt good. He's been carrying that load around a little bit. But he stepped up, really got us on the board with that great at-bat, picking up those two runs, base hit to left and then, of course, the home run. He hasn't hit many home runs, but he's hit a couple of key ones for us, and that was a key one again today to help add on.
It was really the perfect game for him, the day after, he'll feel much better about himself.
Q. What happened with the Tulo ejection? You saw it unfold, did you have any idea what was going on?
JOHN GIBBONS: I didn't see it happen. I knew they were jawing a little bit back and forth when he rung him up and then it apparently carried over onto the field. That's my take on it.
I'd rather not comment on it. There's a lot of high tension in this game. You know, and John Hirschbeck is one of the best in the business. He's been at it forever. But that's the way it goes sometimes, really.
Q. Pillar just had a great game. Just your observations on his catch, first of all, and then his role in the second, beating out a grounder, stealing a base, diving, one of those games?
JOHN GIBBONS: It was a huge catch, but it doesn't surprise me. Really, he's been doing that all year long. And we kind of take that for granted because that's what he does. There's nobody better out there.
He's on a nice roll with the bat, he's really swinging well. He really is a first-year player. He's had a tremendous year for us. He's a great baserunner. He's one of the guys that does everything in the game; plays the defense, gets big hits, can steal bases. Really, guys like him get lost on this team because of the guys up top in the lineup. But he's been a key guy to help those guys have big years.
Q. The bats obviously broke out tonight. You got a fly ball pitcher going tomorrow in this hitter's park. Does that feel like an advantage?
JOHN GIBBONS: Against Young?
JOHN GIBBONS: He's been tough on us. He does elevate the ball a lot. But watch, when he's on, it's tough to catch up to. It's awful enticing, but guys have trouble really getting to it, getting on top of it to -- but we've got Dickey going, a knuckleballer, hopefully he keeps it out of the air, too. If that ball flattens out at all, he gives up some fly balls, too. He's had a tremendous year for us, we expect him to be good.
You look at what our guys have done against Young, he's held most of it in check.
Q. Cueto had trouble with his command, but you made life difficult by working the counts. How big is that for making 25 pitches the first day and 25 --
JOHN GIBBONS: Right. Well, really that's what we do. We have a tremendous power hitting lineup. But also those guys have great discipline. They'll take their walks. They're not your typical power hitters. So that doesn't surprise me. And excellent approach. We didn't get carried away, we just made him work. And that was really kind of a night like that for everybody.
Stro had a little bit of a tough time commanding the ball, threw a lot of hits on him. So it was just one of those games.
Q. Stroman in the 5th, how critical was that, the Royals could have maybe crept back a little bit?
JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, we had Lowe going just in case. It was getting near the end there, and just kind of had that feel. And memory from two days ago, I don't forget that one. And sometimes things get rolling, it's tough to stop it.
But he got out of that and then pitched well. Got us through another inning, which was big. And we were able to get to the bullpen guys that are there for that.
We talked about how Kansas City is definitely a pitcher's park. This is a hitter's park. So we've seen it -- especially in our division, we play a lot of slugging teams, so a four- or five-run lead is really nothing here, it can change like that. Look at what Morales did in the ninth inning, smoking and next thing you know it can get a little hairy.