Kansas City Royals: Revisiting the 2015 ALCS Game 2

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Having won Game 1 of the ACLS, the Kansas City Royals look to further extend their lead, playing Game 2 against the Toronto Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium.

For Game 1 of the ALCS, the Kansas City Royals used their home field advantage and hot bats to win 5-0 at Kauffman Stadium. For Game 2, the Royals would need to keep the same mindset and gameplan.

The Royals understood that they had to continue taking advantage of their home field while they could, as the following games of the ALCS would be played in Toronto. Having to come from behind in the previous ALDS, the Royals were aware that being ahead in the series gave them more momentum to continue moving forward.

For Game 2, Kansas City would have to ensure that their bats stayed hot and the great pitching they had seen in the previous games would continue to shut down the Blue Jays Bats. On October 17, 2015, in front of a crowd of 40,357 fans, Game 2 of the ALCS took off.

Taking the start for Toronto in Game 2 was veteran David Price. Price had put together an outstanding regular season, finishing 18-5 with an ERA of 2.45. For the Royals, the still young Yordano Ventura got the call. Ventura had a decent 2015, going 13-8 in the regular season with a 4.08 ERA, racking up 156 strikeouts over 163.1 innings.

The game started as a battle of the pitchers. Ventura saw a three up, three down top of the first. Price allowed a leadoff single to Alcides Escobar, following up with three outs to the rest of the Kansas City Royals’ batting order.

The second inning was not much different. The Toronto bats looked to get something going, starting the inning with a back to back singles from Edwin Encarnacion and Chris Colabello. Ventura pulled it together, pitching the next two into a strikeout and a double play. Price retired all three batters he faced in the second.

The Blue Jays bats again got things off to a start in the top of the third. Kevin Pillar doubled to center, followed by a double from Ryan Goins, allowing Pillar to score. Ventura followed with three outs, preventing any further scoring. Price again sat down three to end the third, Blue Jays on top 1-0.

The fourth and fifth innings were quiet for both teams. Ventura gave up a single in the top of the fourth with two outs but finished the inning with the next batter. He followed up by sitting all three he faced in the top of the fifth. Price recorded similar innings, retiring all six batters he faced through both innings.

In the top of the sixth inning, Toronto looked to extend their lead. Josh Donaldson led off the inning with a single, followed by a walk for Jose Bautista. Encarnacion followed up with a single to left, allowing Donaldson to score. After a strikeout to Colavbello, Troy Tulowitzki doubled to right, bringing in Bautista for another run. Ventura still couldn’t pull it together, walking Russell Martin, and loading the bases.

At this point, the Royals brought in Luke Hochevar to replace Ventura. Hochevar pitched the next two batters into outs, stopping the Blue Jays from causing any more damage. David Price again went three up, three down to end the sixth, keeping Toronto up 3-0.

Going into the seventh inning, the Royals were running out of time to make their move. Danny Duffy came in to replace Hochevar. Duffy put together a hitless top of the seventh, with a  groundout, flyball, and a strikeout. In the bottom of the seventh, David Price began to struggle, and the Royals took advantage of it.

Ben Zobrist led off the inning with a single, followed by another single from Lorenzo Cain. Eric Hosmer stepped up with a single to center, allowing Zobrist to score and letting Cain reach third. Kendrys Morales got the first out of the inning with a groundout but still allowed Cain to score, and Hosmer to advance to second.

The Royals continued moving the line forward with a single to right from Mike Moustakas, driving in Hosmer. Moustakas also advanced to second on a wild throw. The inning looked to be closing out as Price struck out Perez. Alex Gordon followed, though, sending a double to center, allowing Moustakas to score.

Toronto replaced Price with Aaron Sanchez at this time, hoping to stop the Royals bats. Alex Rios answered, sending a single to center, allowing Gordon to reach home and bringing the score to 5-3 with the Royals on top.

The Kansas City Royals started the eighth with Kelvin Herrera replacing Duffy. Herrera allowed a double with one out but instantly shut down the inning with a flyball and a strikeout. Sanchez continued for the Blue Jays, getting the first out, and following up with a walk. Toronto brought in Aaron Loup to replace him and finish out the inning, though the Royals weren’t quite finished.

Cain was caught stealing second to record the second out, but Hosmer was patient with the pitches and drew the walk, followed by another walk for Morales. Moustakas took advantage of runners on base and singled to right, bringing Hosmer in for a run. Toronto again switched pitchers, brining Mark Lowe who finished the inning.

The Royals went with Wade Davis to close out the game. Davis had a shaky start to the inning, giving up a single to Pillar and walking Cliff Pennington. Davis, wanting to end the game, tightened up the screws. He sat down the next three batters with two strikeouts and a flyball.

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The Kansas City Royals found themselves up in the ALCS 2-0. They would have to try and keep the momentum going, though, as they had to leave Kauffman and Kansas City to travel to Toronto, where they would play the next three games at the Rogers Centre.