Osuna takes tough loss in must-win Game 6
KANSAS CITY -- Roberto Osuna made his mark on Major League Baseball this year, but there's one moment he'll want to forget from his rookie season, and it came during Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Friday.
Osuna was on the mound when the Royals scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of a game they went on to win, 4-3. It was Toronto's best relief pitcher against the heart of the Royals' lineup, and this particular time, it came up Kansas City blue.
Osuna, 20, allowed two hits and one walk en route to the first loss of his postseason career. He experienced a moment or two like this during the regular season, but nothing even remotely compared to the lows he was feeling late Friday night.
"We knew the game was going to be like this," an accountable Osuna said afterward. "Tie game, close game, really good game. I just tried to do my job."
The first two at-bats of the inning are the ones Osuna would like to have back. Lorenzo Cain started things off with an eight-pitch walk, and Eric Hosmer followed with a shot down the right-field line. Jose Bautista cut the ball off before it hit the wall and quickly fired to second base.
Bautista's throw caused Hosmer to settle for a single, but the problem for Toronto was that Cain never stepped running. He rounded third and headed for home, and by the time Toronto shortstop Troy Tulowitzki made the throw, it was far too late.
That was all it took to saddle Osuna with the loss, an unfortunate end to an otherwise spectacular season. The native of Mexico had never pitched above Class A prior to this year, but he defied the odds in Spring Training by making the 25-man roster. Not only did he stick around, but Osuna eventually went on to win the closer's job, and once he took over the ninth-inning duties, he never looked back.
Osuna finished the regular season with a 2.58 ERA. In the postseason, he allowed all of one run over 7 1/3 innings prior to Game 6. All of the success will be remembered, but nothing will ever fully ease the sting of Friday night's eighth inning.
"Anybody that gives up the lead late in the game, you always feel for that guy," Blue Jays starter David Price said. "I know his body of work, being 20 years old, being able to get the last three outs of a ballgame, which are definitely the hardest three outs to get at this level. He's done a fantastic job of doing that all year long."