KANSAS CITY -- For a moment, as the ball sailed off Salvador Perez's bat and high into the Kansas City night, it appeared as though the Royals might have their third home run on Friday. The crowd's cheers grew louder in anticipation of a potential fence-clearing blast.
Blue Jays left fielder Ben Revere quickly created a stunned groan from the Kauffman Stadium faithful in the seventh inning of Kanas City's 4-3 victory in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Revere chased down the ball on a dead sprint, jumped and crashed hard into the wall, making the kind of highlight-reel catch that has become commonplace this year for Toronto's outfielders.
"The inning could've got out of hand," Revere said. "I was just trying to do everything I can to keep it close. It was just one of those deals where I was just trying to help my pitcher out."
Revere's catch did indeed help Blue Jays ace David Price, as did the outfielder's leadoff single in the eighth inning. The defensive play limited the potential damage in the seventh inning, and his hit set up a game-tying homer by Jose Bautista, allowing Price to walk away with a no-decision instead of a tough loss.
In the ninth, Revere had another chance to spark Toronto, which had two runners aboard and one out when he stepped to the plate. With the Royals clinging to a 4-3 lead, though, Revere went down swinging for a critical strikeout. Within his final plate appearance, Revere took a 2-1 pitch that he was sure would be called a ball. Home-plate umpire Jeff Nelson deemed it a strike, infuriating the outfielder.
"It changed the whole game," Revere said.
As for Revere's catch, it kept Kansas City's lead at 2-1 for a moment in the seventh. The Royals tacked on a run before the end of the inning to run to a 3-1 advantage, and eventually earned a second straight trip to the World Series.
While it did not rob a home run -- Perez's shot to deep left appeared destined to strike near the top of the wall -- Revere's catch was reminiscent of the Mets' Endy Chavez's thievery in Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series against the Cardinals.
After swiftly recovering, Revere fired the baseball back to the infield, where it was relayed to first baseman Chris Colabello in an effort to double up Mike Moustakas. The Royals third baseman retreated in time, and the ball skipped away from Colabello. In the outfield, Revere examined his right arm, which had a trickle of blood visible following his hard meeting with the fence.