USA TODAY Sports
Royals lead series 2-0.
The Kansas City Royals have not lost an American League Championship Series game since dropping Game 4 to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1985. The Royals took the final three games in 1985 to take that series and will go for their 10th straight ALCS win against the Blue Jays when the series shifts to Toronto for Game 3 on Monday.
Kansas City, which swept the Baltimore Orioles in the 2014 ALCS, managed one hit through the first six innings on Sunday but took a 2-0 lead over the Blue Jays with a come-from-behind victory in Game 2, sparked by five runs in the seventh. “No,” Royals manager Ned Yost responded when asked if he was surprised about the comeback in the postgame press conference. “You knew somewhere over the course of the game that we were going to mount some type of challenge there.” Toronto trailed its Division Series 0-2 against the Texas Rangers before coming back to win in five games and remains confident it can get back into the series. “Our back is against the wall, but it will be good to go back home where we normally play well,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told reporters. “We’ll have (Marcus Stroman) going on Monday. We feel good. It’s a lot tougher from here. But we have a pretty good team, too.”
TV: 8:07 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
LINE HISTORY: Books opened the Jays -167 and the total at 8.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Johnny Cueto (1-0, 3.86 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Marcus Stroman (0-0, 3.46)
Cueto’s had an up-and-down tenure with Kansas City since being acquired prior to the trade deadline but turned in his best performance when it counted the most with eight dominant innings in the clinching Game 5 of the ALDS. The Dominican Republic native set down 19 in a row to end that outing and was charged with two runs on as many hits while striking out eight without a walk. Cueto made his Royals debut at Toronto on July 31 and allowed three runs on seven hits and a pair of walks in six innings.
Stroman started the decisive game of the ALDS as well and left without factoring in the decision after allowing two runs and six hits in six innings to the Rangers. The 24-year-old has made only six starts since returning from knee surgery but has yet to suffer a loss in 2015. Stroman faced Kansas City only once previously in his career and cruised through six innings while surrendering one run to earn a win.
* Royals are 1-5 in the last six meetings in Toronto.
* Under is 13-3 in umpire John Hirschbeck’s last 16 games behind home plate vs. Kansas City.
* Royals are 4-0 in Cueto’s last four starts vs. a team with a winning record.
* Blue Jays are 6-1 in Stroman’s last seven starts.