Royals left to lament missed chance in fifth

Royals left to lament missed chance in fifth

TORONTO -- Oh, those pesky Royals. We saw it in their 9-6 win over the Astros in Game 4 of the American League Division Series. We saw it again in Game 2 of the AL Championship Series in a 6-3 win over the Blue Jays.

Large deficits, but big rallies late. And two huge victories for Kansas City.

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

But the Royals couldn't climb out of the 9-2 hole they dug in Game 3 against the Blue Jays on Monday at Rogers Centre. Oh, they tried, coming back to make it interesting before falling, 11-8.

Shop for Royals postseason gear

"This team doesn't stop," third baseman Mike Moustakas said. "We never feel like we're out of it."

Shortstop Alcides Escobar, who banged out four hits, agreed.

"This team, whenever we get down, we all get together and go, 'We can do this,'" Escobar said. "Always we have a chance. We did that tonight."

Down, 9-2, the Royals really seemed primed to chase Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman in the fifth inning.

The right-hander was working without his best stuff, striking out just one batter in 6 1/3 innings. Escobar singled to lead off the fifth, and Ben Zobrist hit the second of his three doubles. A wild pitch scored Escobar and moved Zobrist to third. Then Lorenzo Cain hit a line shot to right that was caught for the first out, but Zobrist scored, and suddenly it was 9-4.

Moustakas' RBI single

After Eric Hosmer struck out, Kendrys Morales coaxed a walk. Then Moustakas roped a single to right, pushing Morales to third. Suddenly a very nervous crowd at Rogers Centre watched catcher Salvador Perez stroll to the plate. But Perez -- who is second on Kansas City with three homers this postseason -- bounced out to short on the first pitch.

The Royals mounted another comeback in the ninth, plating four runs, with two coming on Morales' deep homer to right-center off Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna.

Morales' two-run homer

"That's what we do," Hosmer said. "You just have to keep fighting away. But in the end, that's just too much to come back from. At 9-2, that's a lot.

"But it's just one game."

Hosmer was sporting a bloody lip after fouling a ball off his kisser. He said he's fine and even joked that he and the team could take a punch.

"Literally," he said to laughs. "We'll be fine. I'll be fine."

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.