TORONTO -- So now what do the pollsters say? Are the Toronto Blue Jays back to being a favorite to win the American League Championship Series?
Perhaps not, given that they still trail the Kansas City Royals 2-1 and the ALCS campaign trail will have to go back to Kansas City if they hope to win this series. But the Blue Jays looked much more like their powerful, regular-season selves in Game 3 on Monday when they homered three times to rout the Royals 11-8 on election night in Canada.
After struggling to hit the first two games in Kansas City, the Blue Jays lit up their hitter-friendly home with three runs in the second inning and six more in the third. Troy Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson and Ryan Goins all homered to bring the Toronto fans to their feet and cheering, even the ones who probably weren’t happy with the election results.
That support was plenty for starter Marcus Stroman, who gave up four runs and 11 hits while striking out one and throwing a run-scoring wild pitch in 6⅓ innings. (Which pollsters could have predicted he would get the win with that line?) And if the Jays' offense can keep that support going, this election contest could go down to the wire.
Thumbs up: No. 8 and 9 hitters Kevin Pillar and Goins had big games. Pillar had a great catch against the wall in dead center in the first inning and also doubled in a run and scored two more. Goins, who had a costly mistake in the field Saturday and just two previous hits this entire postseason, singled home two runs to give the Blue Jays the lead in the second inning and later homered.
Thumbs down: Ummm, none really. Although Tulowitzki was not happy with the strike-calling of home plate umpire John Hirschbeck, who ejected him after Toronto hit in the bottom of the seventh.
What’s next: The Blue Jays will try to even the series rather than fall behind a troublesome 3-1 by winning Tuesday with R.A. Dickey on the mound. Dickey, who was 8-1 with a 2.80 ERA in the second half, enjoys pitching in the dome, which is favorable to his knuckleball when the roof is closed.