KC Royals: Five Keys To Taking The Pennant In ALCS Game 5

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Oct 14, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals players celebrate with champagne in the clubhouse after defeating the Houston Astros in game five of the ALDS at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The KC Royals are on the verge of taking their second consecutive American League pennant, which would be a first in franchise history. They lead the Toronto Blue Jays three games to one in their best-of-seven series, and can close out the contest with a win Wednesday afternoon in Toronto.

The Kansas City Royals also enjoy the benefit of momentum, after blasting the Blue Jays 14-2 on Tuesday. This crushing defeat set a KC Royals post-season record for runs scored in a game at 14, and ended with the Blue Jays becoming the first team in American League Championship Series (ALCS) history to resort to a position player (reserve shortstop Cliff Pennington) taking the mound.

The Toronto Blue Jays aren’t hopeless. They’re a team who won three straight elimination games to defeat the Texas Rangers in their American League Division Series. The Blue Jays have to be telling themselves they can do the same thing to the Kansas City Royals.

That’s why the KC Royals can’t afford to take Wednesday’s game for granted. They need to come out with the same intensity they’ve shown during the first four games of this series in the hopes of putting away the dangerous Blue Jays while they’ve got them down.

The last thing the Kansas City Royals want is to let Toronto catch some momentum. The 11-run barrage that the Blue Jays unleashed in Game 3 show just what can happen when Toronto’s offense catches fire.

The teams will turn to their Game 1 starters in Game 5. Edinson Volquez looks to seize the de facto “ace” role for the KC Royals, while Toronto’s Marco Estrada is just looking to help the Blue Jays win a return trip to Kansas City (which they now know is in Missouri, not Kansas).

Here are five keys that will help the KC Royals win their second consecutive trip to the World Series on Wednesday:

Next: Edinson Volquez Needs To Pitch Like Game 1