DYK: Estrada has Larsen-esque Game 5 performance
The Blue Jays stayed alive on Wednesday with a 7-1 win over the Royals in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series at the Rogers Centre.
Toronto now trails the best-of-seven series by a 3-2 margin as the teams head to Kansas City for Friday's Game 6 (7 p.m. ET airtime, FOX Sports 1/Sportsnet, 8 p.m. game time). After also rallying from a 2-0 deficit in the AL Division Series against the Rangers, the Blue Jays have won four elimination games this postseason. Only three teams have won more in one year: the 2012 Giants (six), 1985 Royals (six) and '81 Dodgers (five).
Here are some other notable facts and figures from Game 5.
• Toronto's Marco Estrada didn't allow a baserunner until the fourth, when Alcides Escobar was erased on a double play after a leadoff single. The Royals didn't get another man aboard until Lorenzo Cain's two-out walk in the seventh, making Estrada the first AL pitcher since Don Larsen to face the minimum number of batters through 6 2/3 innings in the postseason, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Larsen threw the only postseason perfect game, for the Yankees in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.
• Estrada allowed three hits, one walk and a run over 7 2/3 innings. He became the second starter in Blue Jays postseason history to allow no more than four baserunners over at least 7 2/3 innings, joining Dave Stieb in Game 1 of the 1985 ALCS. Only Stieb, David Cone (1992 ALCS Game 2) and Jimmy Key (1992 World Series Game 4) had gone at least 7 2/3 innings and allowed no more than one run for Toronto.
• Estrada also won Game 3 of the best-of-five ALDS, with the Jays trailing the Rangers, 2-0. That makes him the eighth starting pitcher in history to win multiple potential elimination games in one postseason, and the first since the Giants' Matt Cain in 2012. He's only the sixth, regardless of decision, to go at least six innings with no more than one run allowed in multiple elimination-game starts in one year. The last to accomplish that feat was John Smoltz for the 1991 Braves.
• Toronto is now one step closer to becoming the 13th team to win a postseason series after being down 3-1. The last to do so was the 2012 Giants in the NLCS against the Cardinals. Of the 40 previous teams to force a Game 6 after being down 3-1 in a best-of-seven LCS or World Series, 17 went on to force a Game 7, and 12 went on to win.
• When Chris Colabello gave the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead in the second inning, his homer came on an 0-2 pitch from Edinson Volquez. Colabello had never homered on that count in his career, going 9-for-80 (.113) with 49 strikeouts on 0-2 pitches in the regular season. He had hit only two homers on any count after falling behind 0-2.
• Colabello also has homered off Volquez in the regular season (Aug. 2) and in the World Baseball Classic. The latter came in 2013, when Colabello was playing for Italy and Volquez for the Dominican Republic.
• Troy Tulowitzki's three-run double in the sixth pushed the Blue Jays to a 5-0 lead, making him the 17th player to have three or more games with at least three RBIs in one postseason. Only four players have had four games of three-plus RBIs in a postseason, most recently David Freese for the 2011 Cardinals. Tulowitzki leads all players with 11 RBIs this postseason and is two away from tying Paul Molitor's franchise record, set in 1993.
• Volquez is the third pitcher to have three starts in a single postseason with at least four walks and no more than 18 outs recorded. The others are C.J. Wilson (2011 Rangers) and Dave Stewart (1993 Blue Jays).
• The Royals managed only four hits after becoming the first team since the 2002 Angels to notch at least 15 in back-to-back postseason games.
• Although Cain drew a walk, his postseason hitting streak ended at 13 games, four shy of tying the Major League record, held by Hank Bauer, Derek Jeter and Manny Ramirez.
• Escobar's hit was the 35th of his postseason career, tying Willie Wilson for second on the Royals' all-time list, 21 behind George Brett. He now has hit safely in 22 of his 25 career postseason games.
• Escobar also is the second player to have a hitting streak of at least nine games in multiple postseasons, according to Elias.
• This was only the Royals' second loss in a potential postseason clincher in their last nine attempts, going back to the 1980 ALCS. The only other defeat came in Game 7 of last year's World Series.
• Salvador Perez's eighth-inning homer was his fourth this postseason, one shy of the Major League record for catchers, set by Sandy Alomar Jr. for the 1997 Indians. Gene Tenace ('72 A's), Jim Leyritz ('98 Padres), Mike Piazza (2000 Mets) and Jason Varitek ('03 Red Sox) also hit four in one postseason.