The Royals can win the American League pennant Wednesday, and will turn things over to Edinson Volquez as he’ll face Toronto’s Marco Estrada in a Game 1 rematch. The stage is set for a return to the World Series after the Royals jumped on R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays bullpen early and often in a 14-2 win in Game 3 on Tuesday.
The 12-run margin is the largest margin of victory ever by a road team in AL postseason history and the fourth-largest in MLB playoff history.
“We’re a good offensive team,” first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “Our park, our style of play is a little different. We like to use our legs and be athletic, but when we come to some of these parks where the fences aren’t as deep, we’ve got some guys that can put the ball in the seats.”
It all starts up at the top of the order in Alcides Escobar. The shortstop is hitting .600 and went 2-for-3 with four RBIs in the win. Ben Zobrist went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and is hitting .389. Lorenzo Cain’s batting .357 after a 2-for-3 day with two walks and three RBIs. They combined for nine of the team’s 14 RBIs.
When a knuckleballer has great movement they are near impossible to hit. Dickey’s ball was floating up there and the Royals made him pay. Both Zobrist and Alex Rios went deep on Dickey who did not finish the second inning. He allowed five runs, four of them earned.
The Royals show some power, then manufactured the rest. The Royals scored four in the seventh to make it 9-2 on sac flies from Escobar and Eric Hosmer. Cain singled to extend his postseason hitting streak to 13 games and Alex Gordon scored on a wild pitch. Cain hit another two-run single in the eighth, and Escobar drove in two more off second baseman Cliff Pennington, used as an emergency pitcher in the ninth.
Game 4 first pitch is set for 3:07 CT.