Young delivers when Yost needs him most

Young delivers when Yost needs him most

TORONTO -- All that Royals manager Ned Yost wanted from starter Chris Young on Tuesday was for him to keep his team reasonably close until the middle of the game.

Mission accomplished.

Young gave Yost 4 2/3 innings and left with Kansas City leading by three runs. He gave up two runs, walked two and struck out four, helping the Royals to a 14-2 blowout of the Blue Jays in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.

Kansas City now leads the series, 3-1.

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Young was removed in the fifth inning with a runner on and the dangerous Josh Donaldson up. Reliever Luke Hochevar promptly got Donaldson to foul out.

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

"Chris Young threw the ball great," Yost said. "We got there in the fifth inning, and my mind-set was with Donaldson, [Jose] Bautista, those guys, I really didn't want them seeing Chris for the third time. But to get us into the fifth inning right there with the lead, he just pitched a great game. He had the one at-bat against Donaldson where he hit the double off of him. Outside of that, I thought he pitched great."

Of course, depriving Young of a chance to complete the fifth inning cost him a victory, but he didn't care in the least.

"The personal stuff, really, I don't care at all about," Young said. "Wins for pitchers is a ridiculous stat anyway, and it always has been. The only thing important is that we won, and I was glad I was able to contribute in some way."

Young fought through one tricky inning, the third, when Ryan Goins blooped a one-out single and Ben Revere walked on four pitches. A long battle with Donaldson ended with a ground-rule RBI double to left.

But Young fought back and got Bautista to ground out, scoring a run, and Edwin Encarnacion to fly out. What could have been a disastrous big inning only resulted in two runs.

Morris on Young's Game 4 start

"I think that was a key inning there. Getting Bautista was a big out," Young said. "We were able to kind of limit the damage there. Bautista got the run home, but it could have been worse."

Young's teammates were overjoyed that he could come through.

Young strikes out the side

"I thought he was just phenomenal," Alex Rios said. "He kept us in it, and that gave our offense a chance to really get going."

"We all feel like we're in this together," added reliever Ryan Madson. "Everybody goes out there trying to get outs and pulling for each other."

Said catcher Salvador Perez: "The great thing about Chris is that he doesn't panic. That's what makes him good. He just makes his pitches, no matter what."

It's has been a trying few weeks for Young, whose father passed away with a week to go in the regular season; the funeral was right before the postseason started.

"I feel like he's still with me, talking to me all the way," Young said. "He's with me."

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.