“He knew the magnitude of this game”, Royals manager Ned Yost said. This year the ALCS has expanded from the current best of five game format to a best of seven game format.
The best individual performances from Kansas City Royals came courtesy of Johnny Cueto, the starting pitcher. A sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly meant an an insurance run brought Rios home, and Kendrys Morales third home run of the series in the eighth, a mamouth three-run shot off Dallas Keuchel putting the game out of reach.
“I went all or nothing,” Morales said through an interpreter.
Keuchel won that game and pitched in Houston for a victory in game 3 of the ALCS to cap off a stellar year in which he led the AL with his career-best 20-8 record and is second in the AL with his career-low 2.48 ERA. “We didn’t scratch much off him.”
But as Lorenzo Cain showed, there are several ways to score runs. Cain ran home from the first base on a single as the Astros’ center fielder accidentally slipped while fielding.
The 34-year-old Rios ended the game with two hits. This is the same amount of hits that he had all postseason in the run up Game 5.
But Kansas City officials lowered their expectations for Cueto. “There’s no way we could ever spend enough to get that type of bump,” Coronado said.