KC sticks with lineup; Martin returns for Jays

KC sticks with lineup; Martin returns for Jays

Following a travel day, the American League Championship Series is ready to resume, and both teams have set their lineups for Friday's showdown at Kauffman Stadium (7 p.m. ET air time on FOX Sports 1/Sportsnet, 8 p.m. game time).

The Blue Jays, after taking a must-win Game 5 on Wednesday in Toronto, turn to ace left-hander David Price as they try to force a decisive Game 7 on Saturday night. Price will throw to Russell Martin, who is back behind the plate after backup Dioner Navarro caught Game 5.

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

Game 6 will be a rematch of the Royals' Game 2 victory, with Kansas City righty Yordano Ventura taking on Price. With the Royals ahead in the series by a 3-2 margin, Ventura will try to pitch his club to its second straight World Series appearance. The Mets await after finishing off their National League Championship Series sweep of the Cubs on Wednesday night.

Sticking with it
Royals manager Ned Yost had written out the same lineup for each of his team's first 10 postseason games, so why stop now? True, Marco Estrada and Toronto's bullpen combined to allow only one run on four hits in Kansas City's Game 5 loss, but the offense racked up 35 runs on 46 hits over the first four games of the series.

Against Price in Game 2, this Royals lineup generated almost nothing through six innings, then pounced for five runs in the seventh and won, 6-3. Ben Zobrist, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon all recorded hits off Price during that frame.

While Cain saw his club-record 13-game postseason hitting streak come to an end on Wednesday, leadoff man Alcides Escobar pushed a streak to nine games for the second consecutive postseason. Since taking an 0-for-4 in Game 1 of the AL Division Series, Escobar has punished opposing pitchers by going 16-for-36 (.444) with three doubles and two triples.

Backs to the wall, Part II
The Blue Jays, who trailed 2-0 to Texas in the ALDS and then 3-1 in this series, are trying to become the fourth team in history to win at least five elimination games in one postseason. Standing in their way is Ventura, who allowed eight hits and two walks over 5 1/3 innings in Game 2, but managed to hold Toronto to three runs, keeping Kansas City within striking distance.

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI double off Ventura, also picked up two hits including a huge three-run double in Game 5. He is tied with the Mets' Daniel Murphy for the Major League lead with 11 RBIs this postseason, including seven in the ALCS, but he remains in the sixth spot in the batting order.

Tulowitzki isn't the only Blue Jays hitter who has tasted success against Ventura, albeit in a tiny sample. The imposing quartet of Tulowitzki, Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion is a combined 10-for-25 (.400) with two homers and five RBIs in those limited encounters.

Royals lineup
1. Alcides Escobar, SS
2. Ben Zobrist, 2B
3. Lorenzo Cain, CF
4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
5. Kendrys Morales, DH
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Salvador Perez, C
8. Alex Gordon, LF
9. Alex Rios, RF

Blue Jays lineup
1. Ben Revere LF
2. Josh Donaldson 3B
3. Jose Bautista RF
4. Edwin Encarnacion DH
5. Chris Colabello 1B
6. Troy Tulowitzki SS
7. Russell Martin C
8. Kevin Pillar CF
9. Ryan Goins 2B

Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.